Schoharie Watershed Advisory Committee

Schoharie Watershed Program

The Schoharie Watershed Advisory Committee allows for collaboration on watershed efforts that benefit both water quality and the watershed communities.  All watershed towns within Greene County have adopted Stream Management Plans and Stream Stewardship Principles, signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District and have assigned representatives to the Schoharie Watershed Advisory Committee.

Stream Management Plan Implementation

Guided by stream stewardship principles, the Schoharie Watershed Program offers assistance to local communities, residents, and organizations to advance recommendations from Schoharie Basin Stream Management Plans. Stream Management Plans have been written for the Schoharie CreekWest KillEast KillBatavia Kill and Manor Kill. To learn more about what adoption of a stream management plan entails, please click here. We also have a sample of a memorandum of understanding between a town and the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District to illustrate how a town could move forward with plan implementation.  Finally, the SWAC, GCSWCD and NYCDEP utilize an annual action plan to organize their workload and priorities.

Stream Stewardship Principles

Management of natural stream systems often results in the perception of competing or inconsistent goals and objectives. Using sound, science-based principles, stream managers will find it easier to guide their work, and achieve a common ground between landowners, municipalities, regulatory agencies and others that play an important role in the health of our Catskill stream systems. These guiding principles set a common framework upon which stream managers may carry out their important activities (principles with additional text):

  • We will work to protect and restore the environmental services provided by our streams and floodplains;
  • We will work to protect and restore the health of our stream and floodplain ecosystems;
  • Wherever possible, we will manage streams so as to maintain their naturally effective channel form and function;
  • Wherever possible, we will manage floodplains as part of the natural stream system;
  • Wherever possible, we will protect and restore mature forest in the riparian buffer;
  • As we manage streams to protect public safety and investments in infrastructure, our actions in one location shouldn’t compromise the health of the stream upstream or downstream, or threaten the adjacent upland ecosystem through which the stream runs;
  • We will strive to keep abreast of the state-of-the-science and best management practices related to streams and floodplains;
  • We celebrate the role streams play in the natural heritage of our communities.

Who is eligible for assistance from the Stream Management Implementation Program?

Local municipalities, watershed residents and property owners, schools, and not-for-profit organizations that promote watershed programming.

What projects are eligible?

Projects that are located within the Schoharie Basin, fall within a municipality that has adopted the appropriate stream management plan, follow the Stream Stewardship Principles and are consistent with the Stream Management Plans. Projects located in Johnson Hollow, Bear Kill, Huntersfield Creek and the Little West Kill are eligible since stream management plans have yet to be completed in these watershed (See map below).

Have a project idea?

 The first step in the process is to research whether your proposed project fits with the stream stewardship principles outlined above, and is consistent with the recommendations set forth in the relevant stream management plan.  If you find that your project is compatible with the SMIP, then contact the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District to discuss your proposed project: 518-622-3620 or They will assist you with completing the application: Schoharie Watershed Stream Management Implementation Program Application

Categories of funding and examples

(Please visit the Stream Management Implementation Program page for awards to date)

Recreation and Stream Habitat Improvements: improving public stream access, parking, low impact trails along streams, fisheries and habitat.

Education on Watershed Protection: workshops, newsletters, public meetings, school programs, stream clean ups, volunteer plantings, educational kiosks, outreach materials and training.

Highway and Infrastructure Improvement: upgrade undersized culverts, use of higher quality road abrasives, incorporate vegetation into road embankments, properly manage utility crossing and floodplains.

Planning and Assessment: linking community plans & policies to water quality projects including floodplain management, coordinated flood response, technical assistance, economic development initiatives (e.g., stream celebrations), local environmental policies, and initiatives that encourage county, regional and local level support of watershed communities.

Landowner Stream Assistance: property management erosion prevention plans, access to planting materials to enhance riparian buffers, invasive species control, and land stewardship practices.

Flood Hazard Mitigation: This category was added by the SWAC to assist in the Irene recovery.  In 2014, the focus shifted to hydraulic modeling-based flood hazard analysis in population centers.  Once the flood analysis is complete for each population center and/or each population center has been given the opportunity to have a flood analysis completed, funds will shift towards implementation of recommended projects.

Schoharie Watershed Advisory Committee Membership

There are 15 appointed representatives on the SWAC, including a representative from each of the eleven municipalities in the watershed, a highway/infrastructure subcommittee representative, an education/outreach subcommittee representative, a representative from a recreation/habitat subcommittee and a Greene County Legislator.  Advisory members include non-profit organizations working in the basin (e.g., Trout Unlimited, Cornell Cooperative Ext. of Greene Co., the Mountaintop foundations, to name a few), regulatory agencies, NYCDEP and County Soil & Water Conservation Districts and Planning Departments.  Advisory members are available to assist the Committee as needed, as well as serve as potential project sponsors. The Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District provides the primary staffing for the SWAC.  The SWAC meets  twice annually and meetings are open to the public.

SWAC Representatives 2019-2020
James LawrenceTown of Ashland
Eric DahlbergTown of Conesville
Bill FedericeTown of Conesville (Alternate)
Rebecca WilburnTown of Gilboa
Val RiedmanTown of Gilboa (Alternate)
David KukleTown of Hunter
Sean MahoneyTown of Hunter (Alternate)
Benjamin SommersVillage of Hunter
Alan HigginsVillage of Hunter (Alternate)
Mike McCraryTown of Jewett
Jim PellitteriTown of Jewett (Alternate)
Lynn ByrneTown of Lexington
Beverly DezanTown of Lexington (Alternate)
Christine OwadTown of Prattsville
Edward RaederTown of Roxbury
George Bain Jr.Village of Tannersville
Bob JaniszewskiVillage of Tannersville (Alternate)
Steve WalkerTown of Windham
Wayne VanValinTown of Windham (Alternate)
Erik AllanHighway & Infrastructure Subcommittee
Connor YoungEducation & Outreach Subcommittee
Judd WeisbergHabitat & Recreation Subcommittee
Ron UrbanHabitat & Recreation Subcommittee (Alternate)
Larry GardnerGreene County Legislator
Jim ThoringtonGreene County Legislator


Schoharie Watershed Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

April 2019
April 2018October 2018
April 2017October 2017
April 2016October 2016
April 2015October 2015
March 2014September 2014December 2014
March 2013August 2013December 2013
June 2012October 2012
March 2011June 2011November 2011
March 2010October 2010
February 2009March 2009September 2009Oct 2009
May 2008June 2008Oct 2008

SWAC Education and Outreach Subcommittee

December 2008

October 2009

June 2010

January 2011

SWAC Habitat and Recreation Subcommittee

December 2008

July 2010

February 2011

SWAC Highway and Infrastructure Subcommittee

April 2009

December 2009

March 2011

SWAC Stream Management Implementation Program

Summary of SMIP awards to date

Additional Information

Contact Abbe Martin, Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District, Watershed Assistance Program at (518)-622-3620 or, or Emily Polinksy, NYCDEP at (845)-340-7846 or