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For Release: Tuesday, April 7, 2015

DEC Hudson River Estuary Program to Host Hudson River Summit

Discussion to Focus on a Six-Year Conservation and Restoration Blueprint for the River

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Hudson River Estuary Program will host a Hudson River Summit on Thursday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to
3:30 p.m. at The Grandview, overlooking the Hudson in Poughkeepsie. Co-sponsored by Historic Hudson River Towns, the Summit keynote address will be delivered by DEC Commissioner Joe Martens.

"The Hudson River Summit is an opportunity to come together around a shared vision: to help people protect, revitalize and enjoy the estuary-and to develop effective partnerships to accomplish this," said Commissioner Martens.

"Historic Hudson River Towns is pleased to partner with New York State DEC as a co-sponsor of the Hudson River Summit," said Jerry Faiella, executive director of the consortium of riverfront communities. "Conserving the environment of our estuary is essential if we are to continue attracting people who want to live, work in or visit this scenic and historic area."

The Hudson River Summit will focus on building successful collaborations to implement the 2015-2020 Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda, a blueprint to achieve six key benefits: clean water; resilient communities; vital estuarine ecosystem; conservation of its fish, wildlife, and habitats; preservation of the region's natural scenery; and enhanced opportunities for education, river access, recreation and inspiration.

Registration for the Summit, which includes a continental breakfast and lunch, is $35. Student registration is $20. To register and for more information, go to

Hudson River Summit
April 16, 2015
The Grandview, Poughkeepsie, NY

9:00 Registration, coffee and networking

10:00 Welcome
Frances Dunwell, Coordinator, NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program
Dennis Suszkowski, Chairman Hudson River Estuary Management Advisory Committee (HREMAC), and Science Director of the Hudson River Foundation
Phil Zegarelli, Chairman, Historic Hudson River Towns

10:30 The Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda: Where have we been? Where are we going?
Frances Dunwell, Estuary Coordinator and Estuary Program Staff

11:15 Working Together: How can we make progress on the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda vision? How can we use the Summit to engage new partners?
James Tierney, Assistant Commissioner for Water Resources, NYSDEC
Steve Rosenberg, Executive Director, Scenic Hudson Land Trust, Inc.
George Schuler, Director of Science and Practice

Building Successful Collaborations:

11:30 Session 1 Access for Everyone: How do we expand waterway access for recreation? How do we enhance access to river education in every school?
Session Leader: Carole Fraser, NYSDEC Universal Access Coordinator
LaWanda Cook, Cornell University, Employment and Disability Institute: "Meeting the Needs of People with Disabilities"
Diana Carter, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, "Enhancing River Access at NYS Parks"
Ann-Marie Mitroff, Groundwork Yonkers, "Access and Environmental Justice"
Nicolette Witcher, Hudson River Park Trust, "Education and Access at Hudson River Park"

12:10 Reminders: Draft Action Agenda 2015-2020 Public Comment Period Process

12:15 Lunch
Keynote Address

Joseph Martens, Commissioner, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Environmental Conservation Committee Chair

1:15 Session 2 Resilient Communities
Session Leader:
Sacha Spector, Scenic Hudson

  • Rob Pirani NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program: "Green infrastructure for Storm Resiliency"
  • Omari Washington, Clearwater: "Urban Resiliency on Tributaries of the Hudson"
  • March Gallagher, Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress: Infrastructure and Resiliency
  • Liz LoGiudice, Columbia-Greene County Cooperative Extension: Resilient Streams

2:00 Session 3 Developing a Comprehensive Restoration Plan (CRP) as a blueprint for site-specific water quality, habitat, and access improvements
Session Leader:
Andy Peck, The Nature Conservancy

  • Lisa Baron, US Army Corps of Engineers: "The Hudson-Raritan Comprehensive Restoration Plan"
  • Maureen Cunningham, Hudson River Watershed Alliance: "The Vision For A Restoration Plan From Tappan Zee To Troy"
  • Stuart Findlay, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies: "How Ecosystem Science Can Help"
  • Jerry Faiella, Historic Hudson River Towns: "Why This Is Important For Our Communities"
  • John Lipscomb, Riverkeeper Captain: "How Citizens Can Help"

2:45 Facilitated Discussion: Where do we go from here? Who is willing to participate in a partnership or collaboration to achieve our goals?

3:30 Adjourn


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