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Public Outreach

Fall 2016

The success of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (NYSDEC) efforts to protect New York's water resources depends on robust public involvement. The NYSDEC uses many techniques and tools to inform and engage our stakeholders. Some of them are "old school," such as brochures and posters, but we are working with many of the current social media tools as well.

The main way that NYSDEC stays in contact with its water stakeholders is through its weekly electronic newsletter MakingWaves. Every Friday afternoon, we send the e-newsletter to over 15,000 subscribers. The weekly edition contains the latest NYSDEC water news covering topics such as grants, public comment opportunities for permits and regulations, public meetings, recent developments and new web pages. If you have not signed up for MakingWaves, go to the Division of Water webpage and sign up today!

The NYSDEC uses electronic media extensively. If you have questions about any of NYSDEC's water-related programs, your first stop for information should be our web site. Staff work hard to make an abundance of up-to-date information available on a number of topics. NYSDEC staff also use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. This year they will focus even more on this medium. Following the NYSDEC's Facebook page and Twitter feed is a great way to keep up-to-date on important issues and topics.

The NYSDEC provides many opportunities for our stakeholders to get involved. We have established committees and subcommittees on topics such as stormwater pollution reduction, wastewater infrastructure and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). These committees provide the NYSDEC's water programs with guidance on topics ranging from the municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4) permit renewal to implementation of the Sewage Pollution Right to Know law. Some of these committees have been meeting for many years, and their input has helped shape and improve the programs.

Many of the watershed programs (e.g., Great Lakes, Lake Champlain, etc.) also have robust outreach programs. They have prepared Action Agendas for their watersheds which identify the pressing problems and the actions needed to protect water quality and habitat, and increase community resiliency. The Action Agendas are guides to promoting successful ecosystem-based management through existing programs and partnerships involving state and federal agencies, municipalities, academic institutions, non-profits, and other stakeholders in the watershed. Each watershed program has opportunities for interested parties to get involved and have real influence.

I encourage you to be involved in our programs. Take ownership! There is a wide variety of topics to choose from and many different ways to participate. We know that citizen involvement is key to our success and we truly welcome your contribution.


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  • Department of Environmental Conservation
    Division of Water, 4th Floor
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY
    12233-3500
    518-402-8233
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