Stream Stewardship: Watershed Community

Watershed Community
Below are a few ideas about joining together with your neighbors to have a positive impact on your watershed community.  You will also find information about existing programs specifically developed to assist Catskill residents, towns and teachers with living and working in such a unique, resource-rich area of the country.

Get involved in your community
Public events like meetings, hearings and workshops provide a great opportunity for streamside landowners to ask questions, express concerns and generally learn about stream stewardship activities. Local agencies host many public events every year and welcome input from residents and community members. As a watershed resident, you are encouraged to get involved with protecting the beautiful natural environment that we all share. Check out our calendar for upcoming events in your area.

Explore Stream Management Plans
Many of the Stream Management Plans developed for Catskills streams collaboratively by municipal leaders, regional resource managers and landowners describe the current condition of the stream and surrounding vegetation throughout the watersheds they cover. These Plans also make recommendations for protecting healthy sections of stream and for restoring the stability of those sections that are at risk. These Plans provide guidance for landowners and local communities on how to manage Catskills streams in accord with the unique conditions found here. Click here to see if a Plan has been developed for the watershed in which you live or work.

Join a watershed association
Watershed associations are fun and effective ways to address neighborhood concerns and implement solutions. These associations range in formality from housing paid staff and recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit status to volunteers that simply gather annually for stream clean-ups. Here are numerous links to various watershed associations throughout the northeast U.S. And to learn specifically about an association based on tributary to the Esopus Creek, the Broadstreet Hollow Landowners Association, click here. Several national programs and organizations exist to assist with watershed association formation.

Watershed Community

Check into existing watershed stewardship programs
Many programs already exist for assisting streamside landowners monetarily and in-kind with stewardship activities. One place to learn about these opportunities is through the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC), which has programs in septic rehabilitation, stormwater retrofits, local technical assistance, education, and economic development. Forest landowners may be eligible for assistance through Watershed Agricultural Council’s (WAC’s) Forestry Program or through the Catskill Forest Association. Agricultural landowners may be eligible to participate in WAC’s Whole Farm Planning Program. The Catskill Center for Conservation & Development and CWC have several workshops and programs for watershed teachers. A Guide created by the Watershed Environmental Education Alliance lists education facilities and resources.  Programs also exist for Catskill towns and landowners.

Links and Resources

Click on the links below for more information:

Stream Management Planning

> FAQs

Memorandum of Understanding


Principles of Stream Stewardship

> Watershed Plan Implementation (PA DEP, 2006)
> Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters (USEPA)
> Watershed Plans Overview (NYS DOS)

Watershed Associations

> How To Create Watershed Organization (PA DEP, 2006)

List of Watershed Associations

> Securing Resources (PA DEP, 2006)

Other Programs

> EPA Watershed Academy Webcast Seminars
> Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring

Monitoring For Success (PA DEP, 2006)

> Watershed Assessment (PA DEP, 2006)
> Hudson River Watershed Alliance

Hudson Basin River Watch


Hudson Basin River Watch Guidance Document (2000)

> USEPA Healthy Watersheds initiative
For more information, e-mail info@catskillstreams.org

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