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June 23, 1999

Contact: Geoff Ryan (718/595-5371)

Students In Watershed Conservation Corps Help River Restoration In The Catskills

Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that DEP has employed eight area college students to participate in this summer's Watershed Conservation Corps (WCC) program. Over the last two weeks, the students received training in stream survey and assessment techniques and, for the rest of the summer, will work hand-in-hand with resource professionals to collect and analyze data for locally based stream management and restoration projects.

For the past two summers, DEP, in partnership with Ulster County Community College (UCCC), has employed students with natural resource or science backgrounds as a stream survey team. Their work has been centered in streams that feed the City's Catskill Reservoir System — the Batavia Kill and the Schoharie Creek in Greene County, and the Stony Clove Creek and Broadstreet Hollow in Ulster County. This summer the program has expanded. In addition to UCCC students and their work on Catskill System streams, the Watershed Conservation Corps includes a team, based at the State University of New York at Oneonta (SUNY Oneonta), that will collect data in the West Branch of the Delaware River and other streams that supply the Delaware Reservoir System.

"By cooperating with colleges in the Catskill Region on this project," said Commissioner Miele, "we provide students with valuable experience in assessing streams, while collecting important information on stream conditions for use by watershed counties and communities, as well as DEP's Stream Management and Hydrology Programs.

The implementation of stream management plans and restoration projects, which are supported by data collected directly from Catskill streams, can reduce the risks of future flood damage, the erosion of stream banks, and the movement of stream channels and turbidity. Such projects can improve water quality, preserve and rehabilitate aquatic habitats, and protect the ecological integrity of the Catskill region's world-class trout streams.

Since the Watershed Conservation Corps was established in 1996, numerous college students in the Catskills have received invaluable experience in the field, working hand-in-hand with resource professionals to collect and analyze geomorphic data. Several former Watershed Corps members are currently employed by DEP and other resource agencies. This year four students from UCCC and four from SUNY Oneonta are participating in the program. Seven of them live in watershed counties, while one resides in nearby Oneonta.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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

(718) 595-6600