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April 27, 2001

Contact: Geoff Ryan (718/595-6600)

Students From New York City And Watershed Work Together On Stream Restoration In Greene County

On Tuesday May 1, approximately sixty students from New York City's High School for Environmental Studies will join students from Margaretville Central School and South Kortright Central School to work on a stream restoration project on the East Kill in Greene County, according to Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. The East Kill originates in the Town of Jewett and flows into the Schoharie Creek about ten miles above the City's Schoharie Reservoir.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for students from City and watershed schools to get hands-on experience in stream restoration and in learning about the importance of protecting stream habitats and drinking water at the source," said Commissioner Miele.

The students will assist the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District (GCSWCD) staff in planting live willow posts and tree seedlings on a restored stream reach near Beaches Corners in the Town of Jewett. This type of planting or "bioengineering" utilizes roots of woody plants to anchor soil and to provide additional bank stability. Native species of willows will be harvested nearby and transplanted to streamsides along with tree seedlings provided by the State Tree Nursery in Saratoga.

DEP's Stream Management Program and the GCSWCD have developed a multi-year partnership to restore stream stability on the Batavia Kill, another tributary of the Schoharie. This site on the East Kill is one of several that have been restored recently to stable channel dimensions, thereby reducing stream bank erosion and the resultant turbidity in the water. Riparian vegetation is critical to restoring aquatic habitat, which is beneficial to fish and other stream life.

"We are pleased that we can provide an outdoor classroom for high school students that demonstrates our current knowledge about stream restoration and the long term protection of water quality," said Rene Van Schaack, GCSWCD Executive Director. "In our years of experience 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."

"We are excited about working with upstate students on a cooperative project in the New York City Watershed," said Michael Zamm, Director of Education at the Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC).

The Council is a privately funded citizens' organization in the Office of the Mayor. The students from the City are involved in the Council's Water Conservation/Watershed Education Program, which received funding for this upstate-downstate educational project from the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) Public Education Grants Program. The CWC is a non-profit organization that administers many of the partnership programs set forth in the Watershed Memorandum of Agreement of January 1997. As part of that Agreement, DEP helps to fund CWC, the Watershed Agricultural Council and other programs in the watershed that benefit both the community and drinking water quality.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600