September 4, 2013 —
REGION — The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and its county partners in the stream management program recently announced the start of several important stream-restoration projects across the Catskills, focusing specifically on streams that suffered damage two years ago during tropical storms Irene and Lee. The more than $9 million in work will improve water quality and protect communities by stabilizing stream banks, reconnecting streams to their floodplains, and installing other upgrades related to infrastructure protection and drainage. The work will also reduce erosion, which can introduce fine sediments into the city’s reservoirs.
Since 1997, DEP has committed more than $58 million toward improving local streams and creeks through planning and restoration projects. DEP completes these projects through partnerships with the soil and water conservation districts in Delaware, Greene, Sullivan, and Ulster counties, along with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County, which create stream management plans that identify priority projects in their communities and oversee the contracting and management of those projects.
For the upcoming projects, DEP and its county partners committed $3.4 million in stream management funds, which helped to leverage the remaining funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Emergency Watershed Program. The federal program acknowledges that these waterways require upgrades because they currently pose a threat to public and private infrastructure, and water quality during large storms. In addition to the $9 million in projects that are starting now, DEP and its partners have already completed $4.3 million in similar stream projects that used federal money from the Emergency Watershed Program. The federal funding for these projects will help money allocated through DEP programs to stretch further and help additional streams and creeks across the Catskill and Delaware watersheds.
For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like the DEP on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.