Climate Smart Communities Forum: Supporting Municipal Efforts to Become Climate Resilient

2016-05-05 09_49_37-The Climate Smart Communities Certification Program Tickets, Sat, Jun 4, 2016 at

Date: Saturday, June 4th, 2016
Time: 9:00am – 12:30pm (Doors open at 8:30am)
Location: Vassar College, Villard Room, 124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY
Register online at:

On April 18th Governor Cuomo announced “$11 million in Climate Smart Community grants is available for municipalities to become more resilient to the effects of climate change.” 

This forum will provide communities an overview of the NYS Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Certification program, the benefits to participating in the program and how to get started. Participants will learn about how completion of certain CSC Certification actions increases the competitiveness of applications for CSC grants. Presentations will also include case studies from communities that are participating in the CSC certification program as part of their strategy to become more resilient to extreme weather.

The NYS Climate Smart Communities Program supports municipalities as they plan and carry out climate-friendly actions that match community goals and save taxpayer dollars. Over 170 New York municipalities have made the decision to engage their citizens in energy efficiency, renewable energy and the green economy through the ten program elements in the Climate Smart Communities Pledge. The CSC Certification program provides a framework to guide a communities climate actions while also providing recognition for their leadership.   There are over 120 individual actions communities can take to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change while also and simultaneously earning points in the program. 

This Forum is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. 

For more information, contact Carolyn at or (845) 677-8223, ext. 135. 

This forum is part of the Hudson Estuary Watershed Resiliency Project, a program of Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension in partnership with the NYS Water Resource Institute and the NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program, with support from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund.










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The Normans Kill Watershed – HRWA’s Watershed of the month for April


A tributary of the Hudson River – the largest in Albany County, the Normans Kill flows southeasterly over 40 miles through Schenectady and Albany Counties, draining 170 square miles of farmland, woodland, wetlands and developed areas.  The name ‘Normans Kill’ comes from the Dutch word for ‘Norwegian,’ after a settler who owned lands at the mouth of the creek in the 17th century.  While there is not currently an active watershed group here, there are several municipalities and groups like the Stormwater Coalition of Albany County and Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy that are involved with protecting this creek.

Click here for more information on the Normans Kill! 


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Upcoming FREE NYS DEC Floodplain Management Training

Flood Mgmt Training

Fisher Associates, as part of team, is working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to provide a series of free floodplain management training sessions. The sessions are designed to help your community or agency better understand state and federal requirements for development in floodplains. Please consider attending and inviting other representatives of your community or agency who would benefit from it.

Full day floodplain management training is being offered throughout the state. Three hour sessions on FEMA’s levee mapping requirements and on DEC’s Coastal Erosion Hazard Area (CEHA) program are being offered where needed.

These free sessions last either three or six hours, depending on the training. The training is funded by a grant from FEMA and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and is targeted at code enforcement officers, building inspectors, emergency management officials, Certified Floodplain Managers, floodplain administrators, engineers, and planners. The training will qualify attendees for Professional Engineer, Code Enforcement, and Certified Floodplain Manager credits.

The Dutchess + Putnam Counties Floodplain Management Training will be held on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 in East Fishkill, NY. Please RSVP by Tuesday, March 1st, 2016. Please note that the trainings are limited to the first 50 registrants. I’ve attached a general information flier, as well as a site-specific flier, to this email. Registration information and forms are available on DEC’s website at the link below:

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Climate Smart Communities Webinar Series – Creating a Natural Resources Inventory


Experts and representatives from leading Climate Smart Communities share ideas and experiences in brief, informative sessions via the Internet. The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) webinar series runs from June through September each year on the second Thursday of the month, unless otherwise posted. Sessions begin at 10:30 AM and last approximately 90 minutes. Previous webinar presentations and recordings are found on our Climate Smart Communities Webinar Presentations page. See the 2015-2016 schedule for a list of upcoming webinars. Information on how to access each webinar is distributed via the Climate Smart Communities listserv and available through the event listing on the DEC calendar.

Creating a Natural Resources Inventory:

Natural areas including forests, wetlands, and floodplains provide numerous benefits to communities and play a vital role in climate resilience, such as floodwater retention in wetlands and the reduction of heat impacts by urban forests. To develop climate change adaptation strategies and inform local land-use, municipalities need good information on the location and status of natural resources in their community. A natural resources inventory (NRI) provides an essential foundation for comprehensive planning that proactively considers a community’s land and water resources. This month’s Climate Smart Communities webinar will introduce a new guide to the process of creating an NRI, and discuss how your municipality can benefit from having an NRI to inform planning, conserve natural assets, and build resilience.

Please provide us with your name and community affiliation, either via email or telephone to the Office of Climate Change at or 518-402-8448. In the event that we cancel or postpone this webinar, respondents will be notified.

Add this meeting to your calendar program (to Microsoft Outlook, for example):

For the complete Natural Resources Inventory Guide, click here.

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Floodplain Management and Coastal Erosion Trainings

NYSDEC is sponsoring floodplain management training across New York State under a FEMA mitigation grant. The training is geared towards local building and code officials, planners, local elected officials and design professionals.

Full day sessions are being offered to go over floodplain and National Flood Insurance Program topics, including understanding flood maps and floodplain development requirements. Separate half day sessions will cover FEMA levee mapping requirements and New York State coastal erosion hazard area standards.

This training is free of charge.

For a complete listing of the scheduled trainings, visit the DEC page here.

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Managing Shore Zones for Ecological Benefits

Managing shore zones for eco benefits screenshot

David Strayer of the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies in partnership with the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve’s Sustainable Shorelines Project has released a new handbook for Hudson Valley municipal officials and residents, entitled “Managing Shore Zones for Ecological Benefits”.

The purpose of this handbook is to offer suggestions for practical ways that landowners and
land managers can protect shore zones and increase the benefits that they provide. Although
targeted at the Hudson River, many of these suggestions will be helpful for managing shore zones along lakes, rivers, and estuaries elsewhere.

For a link to a digital version of the handbook click here, or visit our ‘Resources for You’ sections for landowners & residents or municipal officials!

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The Great Swamp Watershed – HRWA’s Watershed of the month for July!


Did you know that the Friends of the Great Swamp – also known as FrOGS – have been around for 25 years, protecting this watershed through research, education and conservation?  The Great Swamp itself lies in a 20-mile long valley at the eastern edge of the ancient Hudson Highlands. Covering over 6,000 acres, it is one of the largest freshwater wetlands in New York State. Like a giant sponge, it absorbs the runoff from nearly 63,000 acres of forested uplands, roadbeds and backyards in Putnam and Dutchess Counties. Winding through a changing landscape of villages, farms, forests, and increasing commerce, it plays many important roles – providing flood control, water filtration, diverse habitats, quality of life, recreation and inspiration!

The Great Swamp Watershed, located in the southeastern corner of Dutchess County and northeastern corner of Putnam County (and a portion in western Connecticut), is the Hudson River Watershed Alliance‘s Watershed of the Month!

For more information on this watershed, and the group Friends of the Great Swamp (FrOGS), click here!

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