The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced over $855,000 in grants.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced over $855,000 in grants to help communities in the Hudson River Estuary.
According to the NYDEC, the grants will assist watersheds improve water quality, increase flood resiliency, and conserve natural resources.
For Columbia, Orange, Rensselaer Counties, Riverkeeper will evaluate at least nine priority dams on six tributaries of the Hudson River to determine if removal will improve water quality and restore connectivity for river herring and American eel.
According to the NYDEC, the evaluations include: investigating the dams’ history; identifying potential issues that may affect removal; researching dam ownership; conducting ecological evaluations of the streams; identifying target species; conducting preliminary sediment assessments; and creating partnerships and communicating with stakeholders. This project received $200,778.
In Putnam County, the Open Space Institute received $113,800.
The Open Space Institute will complete planning and permitting for the demolition of Sloan Dam and a succeeding spillway and culvert on Arden Brook. The removal of these barriers will improve water quality, reduce the potential for flooding, and restore habitat for native species, including American eel.
The barrier removal will enable the establishment of a natural wetland where a dam-created pond currently exists. Approximately 4,660 feet of stream on Arden Brook will be restored, reported NYDEC.
In Ulster County, the Town of Esopus received $430,200 to replace two undersized culverts at Dashville and Hardenburg roads. The stream crossing replacements will provide free-flowing conditions, restore aquatic connectivity, improve water quality, and reduce flood hazards.
In Westchester County, Hudson Valley Arts & Science received $110,840 to conduct engineering, planning, and permitting for the removal of a small concrete dam on the Sprout Brook in the town of Cortlandt. The dam is the first barrier to fish migration from the Hudson River tide line, so removing the dam will open the stream for migration by river herring and the American eel by restoring the stream bed to natural conditions.