The watershed coalition will use the funds for erosion and sediment control projects
New York state’s Regional Economic Development Council awarded a $389,178 grant through the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Water Quality Improvement Program to the Upper Hudson Watershed Coalition for erosion and sediment control projects across the watershed. More than 90 sites covering 33.5 acres in the watershed will benefit from the erosion repairs.
“Access to clean water is critical to the health, safety, and economic wellbeing of our communities,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos in a news release, according to The Post Star. “With Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo’s leadership, New York is investing millions of dollars to protect and restore invaluable water resources statewide and addressing growing threats like harmful algal blooms.”
According to The Post Star, the program already has devoted $103 million for water quality improvement projects across the state, and this latest grant is the second part of an earlier grant which helped the coalition map out erosion problem areas that were of high and medium priority.
“In total, the project is projected to stabilize 33.5 acres throughout all the counties in the project, and hold 13 tons of sediment that would have otherwise flowed into water bodies and streams, including the Sacandaga Reservoir, and also reduce phosphorus and nitrogen loading that travels with the sediment,” said Dustin Lewis, manager of the Saratoga County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The erosion control projects also will include hydroseeding, ditch maintenance and roadside stabilization. Saratoga County will focus on the Sacandaga Reservoir which has sandy soils that damage roadways. In neighboring Warren County erosion control work will begin this spring and summer, and focus on Johnsburg, Lake Luzerne and southern Stony Creek. In Washington County, work will focus on the southern portion, including Battenkill and Cossayuna Lake.
“In Cossayuna, the depth of the water is not as deep,” said Washington County District Manager Corrina Aldrich. “It’s a shallow lake to begin with. It doesn’t need to have added sediment from areas that erode, and when you have erosion and it makes it into the waterways, it brings increased phosphorus into the waterways too, because of the phosphorus being tied to the soil particles.”
Phospohorus and other nutrients can lead to harmful algal blooms, The Post Star reported, which is what happened in Cossayuna Lake over the summer. It was one of three bodies of water in the counties to have a confirmed bloom. A workshop regarding algal blooms was planned for March 2019.
Additionally, Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District received $65,200 in funds for their hydroseeding program.
Read more about erosion control projects here: