Friday, April 29, 2011

DEC Information and Advice Regarding High Waters and Flooding


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) notes that the combination of heavy rains and significant snowmelt has brought high water levels throughout the region resulting in conditions that are not conducive to hiking, camping, boating and paddling. Despite the good weather forecasted for this weekend DEC is discouraging the public from entering the woods or accessing the waters of the Adirondacks for the following reasons:
  • Many roads in the Adirondacks have been closed due to flooding and washouts.
  • Streams are very high and most stream crossings that don’t have a foot bridge are impossible or dangerous to cross.
  • Many trails and campsites adjacent to streams, and other waters, are flooded. Other trails in lower elevations are very muddy and wet.
  • High winds moved through the area. Due to soils being saturated with water these winds may result in numerous trees being toppled. Trails and campsites may be covered and blocked by fallen trees.
  • The danger of landslides on mountain slopes is high due to saturated soils.
  • Snow is still present above 2600 feet, the snow is soft and slushy. Snowshoes are required to prevent “post holing”, avoid injuries and ease travel.
  • Water levels are high and water temperatures are low, rivers and streams are running swiftly.
  • Waters may contain logs, limbs and other debris.
  • High waters also conceal navigation hazards such as boulders, rock shelves, docks and other structures that normally are easily seen and avoided.
Water Levels in the Saranac River System
DEC continues to work with the Village of Saranac Lake to minimize and balance the impacts of flooding in the Village. DEC staff placed sandbags around the both the Upper and Lower Locks to protect the locks and retain additional water. Two dozen DEC operations staff, most of them seasonal staff at DEC campgrounds on their first day on the job this year, assisted Village of Saranac Lake employees and other in filling and placing sandbags around various locations on the shores of the Saranac River.
Repairing Flood Damaged Shorelines
Property owners who have streams or shorelines which have been eroded or otherwise damaged by flooding should check with the DEC Environmental Permits Office, and the Adirondack Park Agency (if the location is in the Adirondack Park), before undertaking repair work to determine if a permit or emergency authorization is required. Depending on the situation, work immediately necessary for the protection of life, health, general welfare, property or natural resources may be authorized under emergency authorization procedures. Projects for the purpose of shoreline restoration and erosion protection are subject to a permit application process.
The DEC Region 5 Environmental Permits Office can be reached at 518-897-1234 and the Adirondack Park Agency can be reached at 518-891-4050.
DEC provides a number of documents on its website to assist in developing a shoreline stabilization project:
Stream Crossings
Stream Crossings: Guidelines and Best Management Practices
Shoreline Stabilization
Shoreline Stabilization Techniques
How to Apply for a Protection of Waters Permit
Sample General Site Plans for Protection of Waters and Wetland Permit Applications
Sample Project Plans for Protection of Waters and Wetland Permit Applications


Click on Title link to view entire article.
Thanks to TourPro/Adirondack Base Camp for the submission.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Invasive Beetles website features information on the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) and the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The site also encourages you to become a beetle detective to search for and report signs of AlB & EAB activity in your area.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

iMapInvasives: Mapping Invasive Species On-Line

Invasive species are widely considered to be one the greatest threats to biodiversity (Wilson, 2001). This is a nationwide problem encompassing many different non-native plants, animals, and even microbial pathogens. There are many individuals, public agencies and private organizations working to manage invasive species. Having access to strategic invasive species location information can support and enhance this important invasive species management work.

A consortium has formed to develop, support and maintain an on-line, GIS-based, all-taxa invasive species mapping tool, iMapInvasives, focused on serving the needs of land managers, regional planners and others working to prevent, control or manage invasive species. A particular emphasis is placed on functionality designed to aid in Early Detection/Rapid Response (ED/RR) efforts.

The initial consortium is comprised of four partners: the natural heritage program of the state of Florida (Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI), the New York Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP), The Nature Conservancy, and NatureServe.

For information on functionality currently under development see Future Plans section.

For information on the iMapInvasives Project including information about how your states can participate see the iMapInvasives Service section.

For more information visit

Monday, April 25, 2011

Igloo-shaped devices eat sewage

Inexpensive igloo-shaped, pollution-eating devices nicknamed “Poo-Gloos” can clean up sewage just as effectively as multimillion-dollar treatment facilities for towns outgrowing their waste-treatment lagoons, according to a new study.

“The results of this study show that it is possible to save communities with existing lagoon systems hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, by retrofitting their existing wastewater treatment facilities with Poo-Gloos,” says Fred Jaeger, chief executive officer of Wastewater Compliance Systems, Inc., which sells the Poo-Gloo under the name Bio-Dome.

{read complete article}

Source: ASM International via Diane Rush, Hampshire Controls Corporation, Dover, NH

Runoff Roundup Spring Issue

The Center for Watershed Protection has announces their Spring issue of Runoff Roundup, available on-line here.

In This Issue
• Runoff Ramblings
• Shade Coffee Roundtable in Puerto Rico
• Healthy Harbors, Healthy Neighborhoods
• Wetlands-At-Risk Protection Tool
• Nominate a Watershed Superstar
• Trainings and Conferences
• Cool Links

Center for Watershed Protection
8390 Main Street, Second Floor
Ellicott City, MD 21043-4605
Phone: (410) 461-8323
Fax: (410) 461-8324

18th Annual Conference on the Adirondacks

Announcing the 18th Annual Conference on the Adirondacks
May 18 & 19, 2011, High Peaks Resort, Lake Placid, NY

• Author Bill McKibben
• NYS DEC Commissioner Joe Martens
• Robert B. Catell, AERTC
• Adirondack Partnership Project
• North Creek Case Study
• Alternative Water Treatment Technologies
• Bio, Solar, and Hydro Energy
• Birds of the Northern Forest
• Juried Student Paper Program

More information
Contact Information:

Dan Fitts, Adirondack Research Consortium
201 Paolozzi Center, Paul Smith's College Campus
Paul Smiths, NY 12970

DEC Announces Revised Baitfish Regulations

New Rules Establish Corridors for Moving Bait for Personal Use in Same Waterbody

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced changes to current state regulations banning the overland transport of uncertified baitfish by anglers, including baitfish that are personally collected. The proposed revisions in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making would allow for the overland transport of personally collected baitfish within three specified transportation corridors, as long as the baitfish are used in the same waters from which they are collected.

The link below is to the press release. 45 day comment period began Wed 4/6 and ends 5/23.

Revised Asian Clam Containment and Eradication Plan

Originally a suction harvesting operation was to be combined with use of benthic barriers this spring. This operation was fully permitted by the regulatory agencies. Unfortunately, the high costs, late ice-out conditions on the lake, and logistical issues for staging this complex operation on shore, all forced the LGACRRTF to abandon these plans and pursue an expanded benthic barrier only treatment effort in the spring. Based on results from the spring treatment effort, a fall treatment effort that involves suction harvesting and benthic barriers in some combination is planned.

The LGACRRTF is still aiming for eradication- but our timeline is now a bit stretched out – with ‘containment’ as the goal for this spring’s effort, then assessment and re-strategizing over the summer, and then ‘eradication’ as the goal of a follow-up effort this fall/winter.

Click here for the pdf of the latest plan.
Source: Lake George Asian Clam Eradication Project

EPA Solicits Public Comment on Permit to Reduce Stormwater Discharges from Construction Sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing for public comment a draft permit that will help improve our nation’s waterways by regulating the discharge of stormwater from construction sites. Stormwater discharges during construction activities can contain sediment and pollutants that harm aquatic ecosystems, increase drinking water treatment costs and pollute waters that people use for fishing, swimming and other recreational activities.

The proposed Construction General Permit (CGP) includes a number of enhanced protections, including enhanced provisions to protect impaired and sensitive waters. Some of the significant proposed permit modifications include new requirements for:

• Eligibility for emergency-related construction
• Required use of the electronic notice of intent process
• Sediment and erosion controls
• Natural buffers or alternative controls
• Soil stabilization
• Pollution prevention
• Site inspections
• Pollution Prevention Plans
• Permit termination

Many of the new permit requirements implement new effluent limitations guidelines and new source performance standards for the construction and development industry that became effective on February 1, 2010. These requirements include a suite of erosion and sediment controls and pollution prevention measures that apply to all permitted construction sites.

The permit will be effective in areas where EPA is the permitting authority, including four states (Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Mexico); Washington, D.C.; most territories; and most Indian country lands.

The public will have 60 days to comment on the draft permit. EPA anticipates that it will issue the final construction general permit by January 31, 2012.

The current permit is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2011; however, EPA is proposing to extend the current permit until January 31, 2012 to provide sufficient time to finalize the new permit.

More information on the proposed construction general permit:
Source: EPA Water Headlines

Lake George Asian clam control effort informational web-site

You may follow the work of the Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force to control Asian clam in Lake George starting this spring. An informational web-site is up and running.

Special thanks to the Lake George Association for their efforts to launch this site.
Source: Meg Modley
Aquatic Invasive Species Management Coordinator
Lake Champlain Basin Program
54 West Shore Rd. Grand Isle, VT 05458
(802) 372-3213
Hilary Smith, APIPP

22nd Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference

Registration is open for the 22nd Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference, to take place May 17 & 18, 2011 at the Holiday Inn of Saratoga Springs, New York. Early-bird pricing is in effect through April 29 (*just 9 days left*) - please register soon to take advantage!

A complete draft agenda is available online:

This year's event will feature:
· Keynote speaker Paul Tukey, expert on enviro-friendly lawncare, bestselling author and founder of
• Two tracks throughout - Stormwater and Watershed-based NPS Management, featuring over 25 speakers on topics including:
o Green infrastructure
o Assessment and planning
o Hydrologic BMP performance
•Choice of second day event:
o Stormwater fieldtrip featuring visit to the Norlite Aggregate plant (filling up fast - don't miss out!)
o Agricultural fieldtrip featuring visit to the Saratoga Race Course
o NPS Film Series featuring Bloom: The Plight of Lake Champlain and The Hudson Riverkeepers

For more information about accommodations, sponsorship opportunities, and to register, visit the conference website:
contact Clair Ryan, or 978-349-2522 if you have any questions or would like more information

Lake George Asian clam response poised to begin


Lake George Asian clam response poised to begin.

The Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force is pleased to announce that the Asian clam control effort will begin on the afternoon of April 25th, 2011. The eradication effort will be initiated with the installation of over 900 benthic barrier mats to cover up to six acres of dense beds of Asian clams in Lake George, NY.

The LGACRRTF and partners rally to prepare equipment and supplies in time for the treatment to begin and thank all local, state, and federal partners and local business owners for their cooperation in preparing this rapid response effort.

Source: Meg Modley
Aquatic Invasive Species Management Coordinator
Lake Champlain Basin Program
54 West Shore Rd. Grand Isle, VT 05458
(802) 372-3213