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College Receives $50,000 Mohawk River Watershed Grant Award from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Lt. Governor Antonio Delgado and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos recently announced $600,000 in grants awarded to implement the goals and objectives of the Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda 2021-2026. The awards include $50,000 to provide streambank stabilization and prevent flooding along the banks of key areas of the Cobleskill Creek on the SUNY Cobleskill campus.

The grants awarded will help municipalities, soil and water conservation districts, school districts, colleges and universities, and not-for-profit organizations fund projects designed to preserve and protect the Mohawk River watershed. This is the sixth round of grants awarded through the program.

SUNY Cobleskill will be working over a two-year period to develop and implement mitigation plans for two areas of campus where the creek is eroding its banks: a section of creek near the athletic fields and a section near the agricultural fields near the Cobleskill Creek Trail. The goal is to stabilize the streambank to prevent flooding, minimize further erosion, and protect campus resources. The project is one of 14 funded by the DEC through these grant awards aimed at conserving, preserving, and restoring the Mohawk River watershed.

“In practicing stewardship of our campus resources and of our local ecosystem, the long-term health of the Cobleskill Creek within and nearby the College falls within our responsibility to protect,” said Dr. Marion Terenzio, President of SUNY Cobleskill. “The continued erosion and more frequent flooding of the creek as the climate changes signify the urgent need for action. In fostering collaboration with environmental-focused organizations and engaging our academic community to preserve nature’s delicate balance, we can ensure that Cobleskill Creek, and the entire Mohawk River watershed, remain a thriving and resilient part of New York’s ecosystem.”

The College has already begun efforts to preserve the creek and mitigate erosion through a riparian forest planting project. Through the work of faculty and students in the College’s Environmental Management program, the campus has welcomed more than 1,000 new trees to campus. The budding forest will restore native upland and lowland forests that have increased water-holding capacity, are less prone to erosion, and filter poor-quality water. In total, the College plans to plant 10,000 trees over the next ten years.

Through these grant awards, SUNY Cobleskill will also partner with the DEC, Riverkeeper Inc., and SUNY Polytechnic on a project that will engage students and volunteers in the first watershed-scale assessment of fecal indicator bacteria at 28 sites within the Mohawk River watershed.

Located wholly within the boundaries of New York State, the Mohawk River is the largest tributary to the Hudson River and its watershed, encompassing 14 counties and 172 municipalities. DEC developed the Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda to bring together local, State, and federal agencies and other stakeholders committed to the conservation and preservation of the Mohawk River, its watershed, and communities.

 

 

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