, Quassaick Creek Watershed Alliance - Individual WaveMaker
Peter Smith has been a dogged researcher, educator and advocate devoted to protecting the drinking water supply for 29,000 people in and around the City of Newburgh. He has endeavored to highlight the many threats to drinking water quality, and his insights proved tragically correct, when in 2016 it became widely known that a toxic perfluorinated compound, PFOS, had contaminated the primary drinking water source for the city, Washington Lake.
We wanted to recognize Peter's substantial work on-the-ground to understand the intricacies of Newburgh’s drinking watershed, incorporate that local knowledge into planning, and bring these issues to the attention of elected and appointed officials at multiple levels of government.
Upper Hudson Watershed Coalition
- Watershed Group WaveMaker
The Upper Hudson Watershed Coalition is a network of Soil & Water Conservation Districts from 7 counties. They work across the 4,620 square mile Upper Hudson River watershed, from Lake Tear of the Clouds to the Federal Dam in Troy. Supported by the Lake Champlain - Lake George Regional Planning Board, they partner with municipalities to develop plans that lead directly to implementation projects, which improve water quality and stream habitat.
The latest is the "Upper Hudson River Watershed Revitalization Plan," completed in 2020, which focuses on natural resource improvements for stormwater, agricultural invasive species, erosion, water supply and wastewater, and aquatic passage. We wanted to recognize their significant work to guide projects from funding through construction, while keeping planning initiatives straightforward and effective.
Albany Water Department
- Institutional WaveMaker
The Albany Water Department, under the leadership of Water Commissioner Joseph Coffey, works to protect and provide drinking water, manage stormwater, and maintain wastewater infrastructure. A significant accomplishment in 2019 was the daylighting of the Patroon Creek in Albany's Tivoli Lake Preserve. Decades in the making, this project will improve water quality, improve stream habitat, protect critical infrastructure, reduce the risk of flooding, and improve access to the Patroon Creek within the City of Albany.
Albany Water Department has also established an innovative conservation easement and carbon credit program to protect forests in the Alcove and Basic Creek watersheds, while offsetting carbon emissions. We wanted to recognize their leadership and innovation in managing water resources, especially while taking a holistic approach.
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
- Organization WaveMaker
While many are familiar with Clearwater's work with the Sloop and on the Hudson River, they have also played a significant role building capacity in the Hudson River watershed. Clearwater started and incubated the Hudson River Watershed Alliance for its first few years, created watershed groups on the Fall Kill in Dutchess County and the Rondout Creek in Ulster County, and has supported important grassroots work in Newburgh and other watersheds.
We wanted to recognize their role in founding these key groups, especially as Hudson River Watershed Alliance celebrates our 10th anniversary of incorporation. We also wanted to celebrate their legacy cleaning up the Hudson River and tributaries, especially the important foundations they have laid to support work in the Hudson River watershed.