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For Release: Tuesday, October 18, 2022

DEC and New York Sea Grant Announce Local Government Training Workshops for Healthy Watersheds and Resilient Communities

Three Upcoming Workshops Will Help Further Inform Great Lakes Municipalities About Land Use Impacts

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York Sea Grant (NYSG) today announced three upcoming watershed training workshops to help inform municipal planning, zoning, and code enforcement boards about the impact of various land uses on local water quality and watershed health. Participants will learn about floodplains and watersheds, why these features are important, and how they can be better protected with land use tools and best management practices.

As part of the workshops, an interactive watershed game will be used to engage attendees in identifying and developing solutions to address issues of local concern, including localized flooding, erosion, and community development interests. The goal is to empower municipal decisionmakers to maintain and enhance healthy floodplains to increase watershed health and resiliency and improve the water quality of New York's Great Lakes and tributaries. For most municipalities, the Local Government Workshop fulfills State-required training for local planning officials. A certificate of participation may be requested for the number of hours of attendance. American Institute of Certified Planners Certified Maintenance credits are pending.

The Local Government Training Workshops for Healthy Watersheds and Resilient Communities will be held on:

  • Nov. 2: 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.; Clarion Hotel, 30 Lake Shore Dr E, Dunkirk, NY;
  • Nov. 3: 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.; del Lago Resort, 1133 NY-414, Waterloo, NY - as part of the Genesee-Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council Fall Conference; and
  • Nov. 9: 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.; Tailwater Lodge, 52 Pulaski St, Altmar, NY.

DEC Great Lakes Watershed Programs Coordinator Shannon Dougherty said, "As guided by New York's Great Lakes Action Agenda, sustainable land use practices are essential for achieving water quality, ecosystem health and resilient communities. This training series will provide local communities with the knowledge and tools to implement local planning decisions that benefit the health of our local waterways that feed our shared Great Lakes, the largest freshwater system in the world."

NYSG Community Development Specialist Mary Austerman said, "Participants will have the opportunity to explore different land uses to learn the impact they may have in their part of the Great Lakes' watershed before communities actualize them in real-time."

"There is a real need for education for local boards to be able to address issues such as the impacts of development on stormwater volume and the ongoing costly repairs of damaged infrastructure, streambank erosion, water quality, and the degradation of aquatic habitats," said Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy Conservationist Carol Markham.

Finger Lakes-Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance Program Coordinator Kristy LaManche said, "These workshops offer information and resources to help local boards make better informed decisions about protecting the area's freshwater resources, while incorporating floodplain management practices to address development, climate change, and recreational demands."

For workshop cost and to register for an upcoming workshop, please visit the NYSG website (leaves DEC website), or call 315-312-3042 for assistance.

Funding for this workshop series is provided by Federal Emergency Management Agency's Cooperating Technical Partners Program, National Sea Grant Office Visioning Funding, Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Alliance with support by the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, and the New York State Environmental Protection Fund under the authority of the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act.

New York Sea Grant is a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York and one of 34 university-based programs in scientific research, education, training, and extension under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Sea Grant College Program.

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