2019 Annual Watershed Conference

Tuesday, October 29, 2019
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home, Hyde Park, NY

The Hudson River Watershed Alliance’s annual conference brings together people working throughout the Hudson River watershed to share experiences, information, and best practices. This year our conference theme was Healthy Landscapes. An emotional connection often inspires community members to work towards protecting local water resources; however, these efforts can reveal tensions between aesthetics and different needs or desires for the watershed. This year’s conference showcased how our values inform our perspectives on what a healthy landscape looks like, and how that impacts our work on rural, suburban, and urban watersheds. The conference agenda also included updates on statewide initiatives, networking, and case studies from planners and practitioners on improving and protecting our valuable, regional water resources. 


Welcome – Ryan Palmer, President, Hudson River Watershed Alliance
Welcome & Introduction – Emily Vail, Executive Director, Hudson River Watershed Alliance

Plenary Sessions:

On Beauty and Environmental Responsibility: Thomas Cole’s Catskill Creek Paintings – H. Daniel Peck, Ph.D., John Guy Vassar, Jr., Professor Emeritus of English, Vassar College
Messy Streams are Heathy Streams – Tim Koch, Stream Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension Ulster County & Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program
Restoring a Former Industrial Waterway: Poesten Kill Green Infrastructure Plan – Hans Hesselein, Principal, Apiary Studios Landscape Architecture
Connectedness to Nature is Mediated through Social Ties: Exploring the Social-Cultural Dynamics of Urban Waterfronts – Anne Toomey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Studies and Science, Pace University

State Agency Updates:

Hudson River Estuary Program Updates – Fran Dunwell, Hudson River Estuary Coordinator, NYS DEC
NYS DEC Stream Restoration & Flood Mitigation Program – Tom Snow, Director of New York City Watershed and Flood Resiliency Programs, NYS DEC
Drinking Water Source Protection Program – Noreen Gallagher, Environmental Analyst, NYS Department of Health

Breakout Sessions:

Clean Ups & Plastic Pollution
Riverkeeper Sweep: Results, Stories, and Lessons Learned
Jen Benson, Outreach Coordinator, Riverkeeper
Plastic Pollution: Local Solutions and Watershed Strategies
Asher Pacht, Director of Environmental Programs, Beacon Institute for Rivers & Estuaries/Clarkson University
Youth Engaged in Beautifying and Restoring Kingston: BARK
Ani Castillo, Kingston High School student, BARK Crew & Farm Crew member, Kingston YMCA Farm Project
Tajsheona Chavis, Kingston High School student, BARK Crew & Farm Crew member, Kingston YMCA Farm Project
Susan Hereth, Education Director, Kingston YMCA Farm Project

Scenery & Ecological Benefits
Mawignack Preserve: Protecting and Restoring a Floodplain
Nava Tabak, Director of Science, Climate, & Stewardship, Scenic Hudson
Hudson River Estuary Program Scenic Guidance, Training and Demonstration Project
Caroline Horgan, Graduate Student, School of Landscape Architecture, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry & Intern, Saratoga Associates

Communicating Values
• The Courage to Care: Inspiring a Disengaged Community to Fight for Its Water
Ophra Wolf, Newburgh Clean Water Project
Getting People Out on Their River: The Great Wallkill River Race
Martha Cheo, Wallkill River Watershed Alliance

Closing – Emily Vail, Executive Director, Hudson River Watershed Alliance

Thank you to our sponsors!

Annual Sponsor:
JSA Financial Group

River Sponsor:
Hudson Valley Regional Council

Creek Sponsors:
GHD Consulting Services
Scenic Hudson

Stream Sponsors:
Dyson College Institute for Sustainability & the Environment
Woodstock Land Conservancy

Brook Sponsors:
Carriage House Gardens & Associates
CEA Engineers, P.C.
Center for the Urban River at Beczak
Delaware Engineering
Law Office of David K. Gordon
Strong Outcomes

This event is supported by the Hudson River Estuary Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, with support from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, in cooperation with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.