DEC awards $200,000 for six area projects

Published Sep 13, 2017 at 4:00pm

More than $200,000 in Mohawk River watershed grants for six projects has been awarded by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Among the recipients are:

• Oneida County Soil and Water Conservation District, $50,000 for Ninemile Creek natural channel design streambank stabilization: The work, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will stabilize 200 feet of the southern bank of the creek to restore the bank and reduce downstream sedimentation through creation of a natural, self-maintaining stable stream that will improve aquatic habitat, said the DEC.

• Research Foundation for SUNY Polytechnic Institute, $50,000 for determination of baseline and augmented conditions of microbial indicators in the Mohawk River: Build on positive results of an initial 2016 SUNY Poly study, this proposal will construct baseline distributions of the microbial indicators E. coli and enterococci at 10 locations in the Utica-Rome area of the watershed.

This project will seek to identify microbial contaminant sources, predict concentrations following rain events, and provide guidance on the risk/recovery of the river to microbial contamination events.

• Onondaga Environmental Institute, Inc., $42,227 for youth engagement and environmental stewardship: This project is a continuation of a Mohawk River Basin Program third round grant where the institute partnered with the Oriskany School District to develop and pilot classroom lessons and field trips about the Mohawk River watershed, stream ecology and water quality.

This phase of the project will expand the number of students reached by this program by providing teachers with tools and support to incorporate this curriculum into their classrooms,

The grants, — this is the fourth round — are meant to help to improve water quality, promote resiliency, and create recreational opportunities for watershed communities, all goals outlined in the Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda. In the four rounds of these grants, $416,198 has been awarded to projects in watershed communities.

The Mohawk River is the largest tributary to the Hudson River, near Albany. The river basin includes several major tributaries and reservoirs, including Hinckley Reservoir, Delta Reservoir, West Canada Creek and East Canada Creek.