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!
New York State is home to over 5,700 active dams. Most of these dams are over 65 years old and require ongoing maintenance to keep them functioning properly. Many dams no longer serve their intended purpose and have fallen into disrepair. Dam failure may cause flooding that could threaten people, property and wildlife.
Are you a dam owner interested in removing your dam? If so, take a look at our brochure: The Benefits of Reconnecting Hudson Valley Waterways, or contact the NYSDEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program at 845-256-3016
The Hudson River Watershed Alliance’s Watershed of the Month for May is the Onesquethaw-Coeymans Creek Watershed in Albany County. The watershed encompasses an area of approximately fifty-two square miles, which includes portions of five municipalities in Albany County: the Towns of Berne, New Scotland, Bethlehem and Coeymans, and the Village of Ravena. From its headwaters in the Helderberg Escarpment west of Clarksville, the stream – initially called the Onesquethaw Creek – travels approximately 19 miles in its 1,400-foot descent to the Hudson River. It enters the Hudson as Coeymans Creek just east of the village of Ravena in Coeymans Landing, about 12 miles south of the City of Albany.
Click here for more information on the Onesquethaw-Coeymans Creek Watershed, or visit the Watershed Alliance’s homepage here!
The National Weather Service has designated the week of April 26th as Severe Weather Awareness Week for the states of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Meteorologists urge all residents to be weather ready by protecting themselves from the hazards of flooding, tornadoes, and severe thunderstorms, especially in the coming months of the spring and summer season.
Each day in the upcoming week, the National Weather Service will highlight and explore actions to take during severe weather to reduce the risk of death, injury, and property damage.
- On Monday, severe weather terms and definitions will be discussed.
- On Tuesday, the focus will be on severe thunderstorms.
- On Wednesday, severe weather preparedness and safety will be discussed.
- On Thursday, a study of tornadoes will be featured with a review of thunderstorm safety. In addition, on Thursday afternoon at 1:15 p.m., a severe weather communications drill will be conducted.
- On Friday, a look at the summer flood threat will be highlighted, with some safety rules provided.
- On Saturday, a review of key items from the week will be done, once again focusing on preparedness and safety.
For more information, visit the National Weather Service’s page: http://www.weather.gov/aly/safetycampaigns
Click the image below for a link to the full article, or find it in our ‘Resources & Media’ section: http://blogs.cornell.edu/estuaryresilience/resources/municipal-officials/
March 15th through the 21st is the National Weather Service’s “Flood Safety Awareness Week”!
Visit the NWS’s Flood Safety page for some information and tips on how to prepare for, deal with, and recover after a flood – and safety measures to take when flooding does occur.
On Thursday, March 5th, the National Weather Service released a Winter/Spring Flood Potential Outlook for Eastern NY and Western New England:
WINTER/SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBANY NY
1157 AM EST THU MAR 5 2015
...Winter Spring Flood Potential Outlook 5 for Eastern New York
and Western New England...
This is the fifth of a series of Hydrologic Outlooks issued by
the National Weather Service every two weeks...which refers to
the potential for flooding across eastern New York State...southern
Vermont...Berkshire County Massachusetts...and Litchfield County
Connecticut. The major river basins in this area are the
Hudson...the Mohawk...and the Housatonic.
This outlook is valid for the two-week period March 5 to March 19.
The potential for snowmelt flooding for the winter and spring of
2015 is generally near normal...since snowpack is now near to above
normal. The potential for ice jam flooding is near normal for the
next two weeks.
...Observed Snow Depths and Water Equivalents...
Snow depths between one and a half and two feet were the norm across
elevated terrain in the southern two thirds of the outlook
area...including the Catskills...the Berkshires...and the Litchfield
Hills. These locations are carrying between three and seven...locally
eight...inches of liquid equivalent.
Elsewhere...snow totals in the Adirondacks and southern Green
Mountains measured between a foot and a half and three
feet...containing 2 to 8 inches of snow water equivalent.
These totals bring us into normal to slightly above normal ranges
for this time of year.
...River Flows and Ice Conditions...
Flows in area rivers are below normal with minimal runoff due to
below normal temperatures. Most rivers and streams are ice affected.
River ice cover and thickness is above normal and with cold
temperatures remaining in place for at least the first week of the
outlook period...river ice will remain in place for at least the
next week or so.
...Soil Moisture Conditions and Water Supply...
Soil moisture continues to decline in the outlook area with the
ground frozen and no runoff ongoing. Precipitation totals for the
last 30 days are near normal up to an inch and a half below normal.
New York City water supply reservoirs are at about 74 percent of
capacity as of March 4th. This is about 13 percent below normal
for this time of year. Hudson River-Black River Regulating District
reservoirs range from about 2 feet above target at Great Sacandaga
Lake to over 5 feet below target at Stillwater Reservoir.
...Temperature and Precipitation Outlook...
The forecast for the next week calls for below normal temperatures
and precipitation. However..the official National Weather Service
8-14 day outlook for March 12th through the 18th calls for near
normal temperatures and near to slightly below normal precipitation.
This indicates a warmup from previous outlooks which featured below
to well below normal temperatures.
While the potential for snowmelt flooding is near normal for this
time of year...the overall weather pattern favors colder than normal
temperatures for about the first week of the outlook period. Thus
it is unlikely that we will have enough runoff to cause any
significant rises on area rivers and streams within the first week
or so of the outlook period. However...a return to near normal
temperatures appears likely by midweek next week...with highs in the
upper 30s to upper 40s.
Ice coverage is near 100 percent but with cold temperatures in the
forecast for the next week...no immediate threat for ice jams
exists. However...river ice remains in place and is setting the
stage for potential ice jam issues when temperatures begin to rise.
Any rapid runoff events and dramatic increases in flow would have
the potential to produce ice jam problems...but most likely not in
the first half of the two week outlook period. Again...the second
week of the outlook period could see warmer temperatures but not
necessarily enough to cause rapid ice breakup so monitor forecasts
at weather.gov/albany for the most up to date information.
The sixth Winter Spring Flood Outlook is scheduled for Thursday...
March 19. Extended hydrologic information will be included
in the Hazardous Weather Outlook when necessary.
It is important to remember that heavy rainfall can produce flooding
at any time of year even in areas that have a below normal potential
Observed and forecast river information can be found on our web
page at www.weather.gov/albany.
Gretchen Gary and Shorna Allred, part of the Hudson Estuary Watershed Resiliency Project at Cornell University’s Human Dimensions Research Unit (HDRU), have just released their final Needs Assessment on riparian landowners’ risk perception, attitudes, and behavior with regard to flooding and stream management. The results will be used to inform education and outreach to private landowners in the Hudson River Estuary.
The specific objectives of the Needs Assessment were to:
- Understand how and why streamside landowners in the study area manage their properties, especially in relation to flooding
- Investigate flood risk perception and personal responsibility of streamside landowners
- Determine the flood and stream management education needs and communication preferences of streamside landowners in the study area
The full Needs Assessment can be found on HDRU’s site here, or under Landowners & Residents in our Resources section
Minute Earth explains how a river’s bends and meanders form in this short YouTube clip.
This clip was found via TestTube, an education and documentary internet branch of the Discover Channel here: Why Do Rivers Bend?