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RiverNet Issue #3 - May 2012

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NYS Department of Environmental Conservation - Hudson River Estuary Program

Hudson River Estuary and Watershed News

Stay connected through RiverNet, the Hudson River Estuary Program's e-newsletter, which covers projects, events and actions related to the Hudson and its watershed. Please email RiverNet editor Candi Sterling with your feedback for future issues!

In This Issue:

Reflections:

40 Years Since the Clean Water Act- Commentary by Estuary Coordinator Fran Dunwell

On May 7, I addressed the Hudson River Environmental Society (HRES) on the topic of the future of the Clean Water Act. As we celebrate 40 years since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, it is a time to acknowledge how far we have come. Growing up on the Hudson in the 1960's, the river was polluted with raw sewage, butcher waste, industrial chemicals and heavy metals. Today, people swim, kayak, wind-surf and go fishing on the river. However, we still have work to do. When it rains, many sewer systems over flow; there is a growing concern over new chemicals such as pharmaceuticals entering the river; some fish populations are stressed; and many tributary streams are declining in quality. I look forward to working together toward a future and a Hudson River Valley we can all continue to be proud of. Learn more about HRES (link leaves DEC's website).

Current Tidings

Bard College students volunteer for the Earth Day 2012 Tivoli Bays cleanup organized by Professor Susan Fox. Rogers
Bard College students volunteer for the Earth Day
2012 Tivoli Bays cleanup organized by
Professor Susan Fox Rogers

Consolidated Funding Grant Workshops: Access up to $750 million in economic development funding through one application

The Regional Economic Development Councils will be holding Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) workshops across the state for the second round of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's job creation and economic growth initiative. Public workshops will explain the programs and eligibility standards, as well as recent improvements to the CFA application process. See the workshop schedule and find out more .

June 2 - Riverkeeper Sweep

The first annual Riverkeeper Sweep will open the recreational season on National Trails Day. More than 30 cleanups are planned throughout the estuary. Volunteers can register for local cleanups at riverkeeper.org/sweep. The day of service culminates with an evening of celebration on the Ossining waterfront. All are invited for food, music, speeches and river-based activities. Find out more.

Hudson River Designated as a "Great Water"

As of April 2012, the Hudson River Estuary is recognized as one of the nation's "Great Waters" by the America's Great Waters Coalition. Find out more about this new designation.

GE Resumes PCB Dredging in the Upper Hudson

General Electric Co. officials announced that PCB dredging to remove chemicals released to the river decades ago will resume on May 9. Over the next four or more years, GE expects to remove the remaining two million cubic yards of sediment from the river bottom. Find out more.

The EPA Region 2 Environmental Quality Awards was held Friday, April 27 in Manhattan
The EPA Region 2 Environmental Quality Awards
ceremony was held Friday, April 27 in Manhattan

Spotlight: Estuary Program Receives 2012 Environmental Quality Award from the U.S. EPA and Kudos from Governor Cuomo

On April 27, the Hudson River Estuary Program received EPA's 2012 Environmental Quality Award for conserving the rich natural and scenic heritage of the Hudson River and its watershed. EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck presented the awards and Fran Dunwell accepted on behalf of the entire program staff. Andy Bicking represented Scenic Hudson, which nominated the Estuary Program for the award.

A project of the NYS Environmental Protection Fund, the Hudson River Estuary Program was also recognized by Governor Cuomo in an Earth Week press release announcing both the EPA award and major New York State initiatives. See the Governor's press release.

Pictured in the photo above from left: Dana Redd, Camden NJ Mayor; Andy Bicking, Scenic Hudson; Fran Dunwell, NYSDEC Estuary Coordinator; Venetia Lannon, NYSDEC Region 2 Director; Dennis Suszkowski, Estuary Advisory Committee Chairman; Candi Sterling, RiverNet editor; Judith Enck, EPA Region 2 Administrator.

Catch of the Day: Dates for Events, Activities and Volunteer Opportunities

Get Involved: New Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program, July - September 2012

The new Wadeable Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators program (WAVE) will enable volunteer citizen scientists to help identify healthy streams and flag potentially impaired sites by collecting water quality data from streams and rivers in the Hudson River watershed.

A WAVE volunterr in action
A WAVE volunteer in action

WAVE data will be used to assist the NYS DEC Stream Biomonitoring program in creating an inventory of the state's stream water quality. Data will be included in federal and state water quality reports and will help focus professional assessments and local restoration efforts to where they are most needed.

In WAVE, trained citizen monitors collect insects and other small organisms (macroinvertebrates) from stream bottoms during July - September. One example of each type of organism is identified and preserved. If four or more of the "Most Wanted" organisms are found, then the stream segment is considered unimpaired and fully supporting aquatic life. If mostly "Least Wanted" organisms are found, then the stream segment will be flagged for possible investigation by professionals.

The Mohawk River and Upper Hudson watersheds are in the WAVE program and training sessions are scheduled June - August at locations in Albany, Millbook, and Utica. To register (link leaves DEC's website) and for more information on the WAVE program, please contact the WAVE Coordinator, Alene Onion at 518-402-8166 or amonion@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

Hudson River Day 2012 Set for July 21!

Save the date for the fourth annual Hudson River Day! In 2009, the first River Day was held as part of the region-wide Quadricentennial celebration. For more information or to get involved, email us.

See a full list of all events related to the Hudson River Estuary Program.

The Web of Life: Internet Links to Vital Estuary Information

Hudson River Research Reserve is operated by New York State and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a field laboratory for estuarine research, stewardship and education.

The Hudson River Environmental Conditions Observing System (HRECOS) (link leaves DEC's website) is a network of real-time monitoring stations on the Hudson River estuary.

Study the Hudson in your school classroom
Download free lesson plans (link leaves DEC's website) created by Hudson River Estuary Program educators. These plans use the Hudson as a context to build understanding and skills required by state standards and tests. Approximately two dozen units are available, mainly for grades 3-7.

Contact us:
Hudson River Estuary Program
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
21 South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, NY 12561
845-256-3016
email the Program
Hudson River Estuary Program web page

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Helping people enjoy, protect and revitalize the Hudson River Estuary and its valley