October 2019
monthly newsletter
Annual Conference: Healthy Landscapes
Tuesday, October 29
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Wallace Center, FDR Library & Home
4079 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, NY

$75 regular price | $45 student rate | Register here !
The Hudson River Watershed Alliance’s annual conference brings together people working throughout the Hudson River watershed to share experiences, information, and best practices. Agenda and more info here .

Our 2019 theme is Healthy Landscapes . The conference will showcase how our values inform our perspectives on what a healthy landscape looks like, and how that impacts our work on rural, suburban, and urban watersheds. The conference also includes updates on statewide initiatives, networking, and case studies from planners and practitioners on improving and protecting our valuable, regional water resources. 
Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Annual Sponsor
JSA Financial Group

River Sponsor
Hudson Valley Regional Council

Creek Sponsors
GHD Consulting Services
Scenic Hudson

Stream Sponsors
Dyson College Institute for Sustainability & the Environment
Woodstock Land Conservancy

Brook Sponsors
Carriage House Gardens & Associates
CEA Engineers, P.C.
Center for the Urban River at Beczak
Delaware Engineering
Law Office of David K. Gordon
Strong Outcomes

This event is supported by the Hudson River Estuary Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, with support from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, in cooperation with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.
Update from the Hudson River Watershed Alliance
Community Resilience Building Workshops
In partnership with The Nature Conservancy, we facilitated two Community Resilience Building workshops in September. We worked with the Town and Village of Saugerties in Ulster County and the Villages of Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, and Hastings in Westchester County.

The workshops identify community assets that are vulnerable to climate change, priority actions, and opportunities for intermunicipal coordination. 
Small Streams Workshop
In partnership with Hudsonia and the Hudson River Estuary Program, HRWA Executive Director Emily Vail presented at a workshop on small streams: values, threats, and protections. Her presentations included the value of small streams, urban streams, and how to name a stream .

This training was held at Five Rivers Environmental Center in Delmar, and included a field visit to the Phillipinkill and its small tributaries.
Upper Hudson Speaker Series
The Upper Hudson Speaker Series returned to Brown's Brewery in Troy on Friday, September 27. Martin Daley from Capital District Regional Planning Commission provided an update on implementation of the Albany Pool Long Term Control Plan.

Save the date! Next lunch & lecture is Friday, December 13 at Brown's Brewing Company.
Albany County Land Use Leadership Alliance Follow Up
We hosted a follow-up meeting for the Albany County Land Use Leadership Alliance training that was held with Pace University's Land Use Law Center this spring. (More on this below!)
Watershed Highlight
Town of Bethlehem Farm & Forest Conservation Program
Rob Leslie presented at the Land Use Leadership Alliance Follow Up meeting on October 3, 2019.
The Town of Bethlehem's Open Space Plan conservation values map on natural water systems, including streams, wetlands, and the Hudson River. For the full version of the map, click here.
This photo of the Onesquethaw Creek was submitted as part of the Town of Bethlehem's scenic photo survey.
This spring, Pace University’s Land Use Law Center held a 3-day training for local leaders in Albany County. As a follow up to the Land Use Leadership Alliance (LULA), Hudson River Watershed Alliance convened a meeting on October 3 at Five Rivers Environmental Center. This meeting continued the conversations that started at the LULA, and focused on sharing community engagement strategies, ideas for partnerships, and case studies.

Rob Leslie, AICP, is the Director of Planning at the Town of Bethlehem. At the follow up meeting, he presented on the Town of Bethlehem’s innovative open space planning programs. This work is a great example of on-going community engagement, thoughtful communication, and ways that scenery can help inform conservation planning.

The Town of Bethlehem in Albany County has a population of about 33,000, and includes the Hudson River, Onesquethaw Creek, Normanskill, Vlomankill, and Phillipinkill watersheds. Bethlehem’s comprehensive plan, completed in 2005, recommended creating a farmland and open space protection program. This was the foundation for their open space conservation work.

The Town of Bethlehem developed an Open Space Plan in 2017 with conservation values maps, using 25 different criteria for establishing priorities. One of the four maps focuses specifically on the values of water resources. At the same time, the town created a scenic photo survey and asked residents to submit photographs of views and areas that are special to them. Residents submitted over 300 scenic photos. Many of the locations aligned with the highest priority areas for conservation.

A public opinion survey in 2018 clearly demonstrated the importance of water to Town of Bethlehem residents. Over 1,500 people responded to the survey and 94% felt that water resource protection is highly or somewhat important, the highest percentage. The survey also indicated overwhelming support for open space and farmland conservation. The town decided to rename their program to be the Farms & Forest Conservation Program, which is more specific than “open space” and easier to communicate.

The Town of Bethlehem’s Farms & Forest Conservation Program now includes a term conservation easement program and a parkland set aside fund to protect valuable farmland and forests. As of September 2019, it also includes a new fund to purchase agricultural easements, leverage state and federal funds, and partner more effectively with land trusts.

Karen Shaw, the Open Space Coordinator for the Town of Bethlehem, continues to work on public education and engagement on these issues. She leads kayaking eco-tours on the Hudson River 3 times a year. The town also holds land conservation stories events, to “meet the people making local conservation happen.”

For more information on the Town of Bethlehem’s Farms & Forest Conservation Program, click here .
Events & Opportunities
Tuesday, October 29
Hudson River Watershed Alliance Annual Conference
Wallace Center, FDR Presidential Library
Hyde Park, NY
9:30 AM - 4 PM

Thursday, November 14
Breakfast Lecture Series
Plaza Diner
New Paltz, NY
8 AM - 9:30 AM
Thursday, December 5
Water Quality Monitoring Workshop
The Terrace, SUNY New Paltz
New Paltz, NY
9:30 AM - 4 PM

Friday, December 13
Upper Hudson Speaker Series
Brown's Brewery
Troy, NY
12 PM - 1:30 PM

NYS DEC Environmental Informational Conference on October 25

This meeting is an opportunity to brief EMCs, CACs, and municipalities on DEC’s programs of interest and to provide the knowledge necessary to properly assist them. While the room capacity has been met, the meeting will be broadcast via Web Ex to attend remotely. Agenda topics include:
  • Stormwater Management, Flood Control and Overflow Notification System
  • Recycling/Composting, Solid Waste Management, New Single-Use Plastic Bag Law
  • Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
  • Wetlands/Floodplain Mapping and Protection
  • SEQR and Site Plan Review
  • DEC Grants Gateway
  • Environmental Justice
  • DECInfo Locator

US EPA Building the Capacity of Drinking Water Systems: Funding for Training and Technical Assistance for Small Systems due November 14

EPA will competitively award $15 million to non-profit organizations to provide training and technical assistance to small public water systems, small wastewater systems and private well owners, located in urban and rural communities throughout the U.S. and its territories.

US EPA Brownfields: Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) Grants due December 3

Grants offered by the Brownfields Program may be used to address sites contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum) and petroleum. 

NYS DEC: Urban and Community Forestry Grants due December 4

The Urban and Community Forestry grants program is a reimbursement grant program for communities based on partnerships, volunteers, community groups, and professionals. Eligible project categories included tree inventories and management plans, tree planting, maintenance, and education programming.
The Hudson River Watershed Alliance unites and empowers communities to protect their local water resources
This newsletter is supported in part by the Hudson River Estuary Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, with support from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, in cooperation with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.