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December 6, 2000

Contact: Geoff Ryan (DEP) (718/595-6600)
Reneé Van Schaack (GCSWCD) 518-622-3620
Gary Capella (UCSWCD) 845-883-7162

Completion Of Stream Stability Restoration Demonstration Project In Broadstreet Hollow

Stream StabilizationCommissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP); Reneé VanSchaack, Executive Director of Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District (GCSWCD); and Gary Capella, Executive Director of Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District (UCSWCD); announced today the completion of the stream stability restoration demonstration project on the Broadstreet Hollow Stream in the Town of Lexington, Greene County. This construction project is part of a much broader effort to develop the "Broadstreet Hollow Stream Management and Restoration Project," spearheaded by DEP's Stream Management Program and UCSWCD to develop a comprehensive stream management plan for the Broadstreet Hollow within Greene and Ulster Counties. Funding for the demonstration project has been provided by DEP; the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), under the Watershed Environmental Assistance Program; the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; and the Ashokan-Pepacton and Catskill Mountain Chapters of Trout Unlimited, through a National Trout Unlimited "Embrace a Stream" grant.

Stream Stabilization"This project represents the culmination of many months of cooperative effort undertaken by multiple agencies, organizations and landowners, all with common goals of improving water quality, enhancing aquatic habitat, reducing flood risks and maintaining stream channel stability and the special qualities of natural stream resources in the Catskills," said Commissioner Miele. "We are pleased to be a partner in this project, and look forward to continued success in the implementation of the stream management plan in the coming year."

Development of Stream Management Plans is a new approach to stream management in the Catskills. The Broadstreet Hollow plan will be a comprehensive document, developed in cooperation with landowners and local interest groups, town and county governments, and State and federal agencies. As part of the overall project, the Broadstreet Hollow stream will be surveyed for problems over the entire corridor. The completed plan will provide a blueprint for addressing stream related issues, from restoration and emergency response to effective development planning and long term resource stewardship, as well as a headwaters-to-mouth management framework that encourages community involvement and cooperation.

Stream StabilizationThe just-completed demonstration project included a full-scale channel reconstruction, which returned nearly 1,100 feet of over-widened and badly eroding stream to a stable, naturally functioning step-pool channel. The new configuration is more suitable to the narrow valley and geologic setting of Broadstreet Hollow and provides much better habitat for the native populations of brown, rainbow and brook trout historically supported by this stream.

"The Broadstreet Hollow project presented some of the most difficult site conditions we have addressed on a restoration site to date," said Doug DeKoskie, Stream Program Leader for GCSWCD. "The design had to address development of a stable stream channel, flood protection for the adjoining residences, stabilization of a failing hill slope and an artesian 'mud boil' in the stream bottom."

Stream Stabilization"In addition to the channel construction itself, a critical project component is the process known as 'bioengineering,' which uses plant materials to assist in streambank stabilization," said Reneé VanSchaack of GCSWCD. "In our experiences constructing this kind of stream restoration project, we've seen that the vegetation component really sets the project up for longer-term stability, just like in naturally stable streams. Without it, the project just isn't finished."

"The restoration project site, characterized by a tremendous amount of thick, soft glacially deposited clay that makes up the bed, banks and surrounding valley walls, typifies conditions found naturally throughout the Esopus and Schoharie Creek watersheds," said Gary Capella, of UCSWCD. "This restoration project provided a unique opportunity for us to address the problem of the glacial lake clays on a small scale. I am hopeful that we may use these techniques throughout the Esopus and Schoharie Creek watersheds, where there are many more eroding sites producing high turbidity, just like this site was before."


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