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Division of Water

Mark Klotz, Director
Tom Cullen, Assistant Director

a photo of Loon Lake at sunset
Loon Lake at sunset

Welcome to the Division of Water webpage! The Division conducts a variety of programs to protect and conserve New York's waters. On this page you will find information about the Division's programs and recent activities.

What's New in the Division of Water?

The Division of Water uses this page to highlight water-related information that we think may interest you. This page is updated weekly and topics are typically posted here for about 30 days. If a topic has a specific end date (such as a public comment period or an event), the description is removed after the end date.

Topics on this page are advertised via the MakingWaves email list. You can subscribe to MakingWaves and other DEC email lists by visiting DEC's email update webpage. If you already receive updates from DEC, you can manage your subscription on this page too.

Applications Now Being Accepted for 2014 Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda Grants

DEC is now accepting applications for the 2014 Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda grants. $150,000 is available from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund for projects that implement the 2012-2016 Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda. The individual $5,000 - $10,000 grants are available to municipalities and 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporations.

Applications are available online at the New York State Grants Gateway and must be submitted by November 21, 2014. A direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

More information is in DEC's September 23 press release about the grants.

Over $2 Million Awarded for Resiliency Projects in Hudson River Watershed

Governor Cuomo announced more than $2 million for research, outreach, and demonstration projects that will reduce flooding risks to communities along the Hudson River Estuary, as well as in the broader Hudson River watershed. These projects, funded by the Environmental Protection Fund, will help communities make better decisions about how to prepare and respond to flooding, and are expected to be complete by the end of the year.

The Hudson River Climate Resiliency Project is a partnership among the Department of Environmental Conservation's Hudson River Estuary Program, the New York State Water Resources Institute at Cornell University, Cornell University Department of Natural Resources, and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.

More information is in Governor Cuomo's September 24 press release. A direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

Two New York State Projects Receive NFWF Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund Grants

The Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District is the recipient of two grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund. The two grants, which total $380,505, will fund riparian buffers and natural infrastructure projects, such as wetlands designed to retain nutrients and sediment. The projects are within New York State's portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and will help New York achieve its goals for Chesapeake Bay restoration.

New York's portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed is made up of the Susquehanna River watershed and Chemung River watershed. Together these two watersheds form the northern headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay and cover some or all of 19 New York Counties.

The Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund is financed by the Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants Program and the Small Watershed Grants Program, and is a partnership with the Federal-State Chesapeake Bay Program.

More information is available in NFWF's September 23 press release. A direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

Drug Enforcement Administration to Collect Prescription Drugs

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will conduct a nationwide prescription drug collection on Saturday, September 27, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Collections will be held at many locations around New York and are the best way to dispose of unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

How do I find a collection location near me?

Collection locations are posted on the DEA National Take Back Initiative webpage. A direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

In addition to the DEA collection on September 27, other collections are scheduled in many New York counties. Visit the DEC Household Drug Collection Schedule webpage to see if a collection is scheduled in your area.

More about drugs in New York's waters

For more information about drugs in our water, visit the DEC Drugs in New York's Waters webpage.

Blue-Green Algae Bloom Notices

New information about lakes with blue-green algae bloom notices was posted on DEC's Blue-Green Algal Bloom Notices webpage on Friday, September 26.

This week, 3 waterbodies were added to the notification list and blooms were reported in several locations in the state. This information is provided from about 142 waterbodies sampled in the last two weeks by DEC monitoring programs, volunteers and public reports.

Because waterbodies may have blue-green algae blooms that have not been reported to DEC, we recommend avoiding contact with floating rafts, scum and discolored water. If you see it, avoid it and report it!

Report a suspected bloom

If you suspect you have seen a blue-green algae bloom, or you, your family, or pet has been in contact with a blue-green algae bloom, please follow the instructions for reporting a bloom to DEC.

Draft Updated Plan to Protect and Restore Long Island Sound Released

The Long Island Sound Study, a partnership of federal, state, and local government agencies, including DEC, as well as nonprofit and community groups and businesses, has released a new draft Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan update for restoring and protecting the Long Island Sound over the next two decades.

More information, including a link to the document and how to comment, is in EPA's September 8 press release. A direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

Grant Awarded for Coastal Resiliency in Staten Island

On September 3, Governor Cuomo announced a $300,000 state grant award to evaluate a shore protection system and maximize the marine habitat at Great Kills Harbor in Staten Island, which was heavily hit by Superstorm Sandy.

The project is funded by the State Environmental Protection Fund and is being undertaken through a partnership among the DEC Hudson River Estuary Program, the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, and the New York City Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency.

More information is in Governor Cuomo's September 3 press release. A direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's website" section of the right-hand column of this page.

Articles about Water by Division of Water Staff

Division of Water employees regularly write articles for the magazine Clearwaters, the quarterly publication of the New York Water Environment Association. The DOW Library webpage webpage houses these, and other, water-related articles written by DOW staff and others in DEC.

Division Webpages

Carpenter Falls
Carpenter Falls

The Division of Water's webpages fall mainly into one of the two following locations:

  • Water Pollution Control - Information, guidance material and forms about the programs the Division of Water administers to control sources of water pollution.
  • Lands and Waters - Water resource information is divided into the following categories:
    • Watersheds, Lakes Rivers: Information on NYS watersheds and other water bodies
    • Oceans & Estuaries: NYS marine and estuary resource information
    • Groundwater: Aquifer and groundwater information & resources
    • Dam Safety, Coastal & Flood Protection: Program information related to flood protection, floodplain development, dam safety, and coastal management
    • Water Supply & Reclamation: Information on protecting New York's public water supplies and drought information

Division's Mission

The Mission of the Division of Water is to protect and conserve the water resources of New York State. This mission is accomplished through a wide range of programs and activities. Some of these are statewide in their scope and apply to all parts of the state. Other efforts are targeted to address water quality and quantity issues in specific regions of the state, focusing on waterbodies or watersheds where these issues are of particular concern. Still other programs target specific contaminants (e.g., mercury) or sources (e.g., stormwater runoff) or impacts (e.g., acid rain) of pollution.

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