In addition to its many environmental protection, economic development and education programs, the CWC has initiated special programs and projects to respond to emergencies and regional issues; link communities, share information, clean up our stream banks and pay tribute to Watershed history.
2011 FLOOD RECOVERY PROGRAM
The CWC Board of Directors responded to the flood emergencies caused by Hurricanes Irene and Lee in August and September, 2011 by establishing a special $5 million recovery fund to help small businesses repair structural damage and get back on their feet. Money for the grant program was allocated from the Catskill Fund for the Future, the CWC’s Economic Development fund. Supervisors in affected Watershed Towns, in concert with CWC staff, worked with businesses to prepare and process their applications. The initial recovery checks were issued in mid-September 2011; it was the first financial assistance to reach flood-battered businesses in the Watershed.
The program has helped 150 shops, offices, mills, restaurants, hotels and other establishments. More than $3 million has been disbursed directly to business owners for costs incurred to repair walls, floors, foundations, windows and fixed assets.
The NYC DEP provided $1 million towards CWC’s flood recovery efforts
In a separate program, CWC funds were allocated to help property owners pay for removal of flood debris from flood plains in an effort to prevent future downstream damage in future high water events.
RESERVOIR BOATING PROGRAM
Four New York City Reservoirs in the Catskill-Delaware Watershed are open to recreational, non-mechanized boating. Row boats, canoes, kayaks, sculls and small sailboats can be launched at specified sites on the Cannonsville, Pepacton, Neversink and Schoharie reservoirs. Boaters must obtain a NYC DEP access permit, and must have their boats steam cleaned (for a fee) at designated cleaning vendors before placing them on the water. Temporary boat tags, good for up to seven days, and full season tags, good between Memorial Day and Columbus Day, are available at vendor locations. The CWC has supported the initiative for expanded recreational access by providing funds for steam cleaning equipment, portable toilets and brochure printing, and by maintaining the Catskill Region website (Best of Both Worlds), where details on launch sites, vendor locations, outfitters and visitor information can be found. The partnership program is intended to enhance the quality of life for Catskills residents, and to spur economic and tourist activity in the region.
CATSKILLS LOCAL GOVERNMENT DAY
Local Government Day is an opportunity for training and information sharing among municipal and community leaders. Topics have ranged from Main Street revitalization, tourism and outdoor recreation promotion, to preparing for climate change and responding to floods. Classes for planning and zoning board members, Code Enforcement Officers, municipal attorneys and others are offered by various training entities, including the NYS Department of State Local Government Division. Local Government Day has typically been offered in the autumn. Check back for agendas and registration information.
The CWC also offers other specialized training opportunities from time to time. Consult the Coming Events page.
To encourage good stewardship of our streams and rivers, the CWC provides garbage bags, gloves and tokens of appreciation to groups and individuals who take the initiative to conduct stream cleanups in their areas. For ideas on clean-up sites, and to obtain materials or more information, please call 845-586-1400. Volunteers may wish to coordinate their efforts with National River Clean-up, sponsored annually by American Rivers.
Watershed Commemorative Project
In an effort to recognize the sacrifices made by Watershed communities on behalf of New York City water, the CWC spearheaded a project to erect outdoor exhibits (kiosks) and road signs at the City’s sixWest-of-Hudson reservoirs. The kiosks, completed and installed in 2002, contain text and photographs explaining the history of the 25 communities which were removed or relocated to make way for the Ashokan, Schoharie, Neversink, Rondout, Pepacton and Cannonsville Reservoirs. The exhibits pay tribute to the 5,500 people who were dislocated as the reservoirs were built between 1907 and 1965.
exhibits also explain the construction of the New York City Water System, one of the world’s engineering marvels, and explain what
is being done, by the CWC, the DEP and other agencies, to protect this critical resource.
In 2004, the CWC coordinated the fabrication and installation of roadside signs to as nearly as possible denote the locations of former reservoir towns.
For other information on Watershed history, call Diane Galusha at 845-586-1400.