Land & Water

Saw Mill River and Hudson River Rooms

Essential Conservation

Land and water - the basis for life on Earth. We'll address ways to protect natural resources in your municipality and discuss pressing issues affecting the health of our state's ecosystems.

Land Use

Making Your Municipal Environmental Committee Successful: How to maximize your committee's advisory impact

Friday, Oct. 22, 11am, Saw Mill River Room

Panel discussion
Joy Squires, Town of Huntington Conservation Board
Simon Skolnik, Town of Bedford Conservation Board
John Rhodes, Village/Town of Mt Kisco Conservation Advisory Council
Carol Richman, former chair of the Gardiner Environmental Conservation Commission and current member of the Gardiner Planning Board.

Learn from successful Conservation Commission and Advisory Board chairs. Moderated by Simon Skolnik, Bedford Conservation Board.

Not recorded


How to Protect Our Water Resources in the Face of Climate Change

Friday, Oct. 22, 11am, Hudson River Room

Dr. Daniel Van Abs, Professor of Professional Practice for Water, Society & Environment, Rutgers University

Annual precipitation in the Northeast has increased by approximately five inches since 1895, and the Northeast has experienced a greater increase in heavy downpours than any other region in the United States. Dr. Van Abs' presentation will connect the dots between climate change impacts on our watersheds and water systems and local roles for the CAC audience in helping their local governments and communities address those impacts and plan for more resilient, sustainable water systems for the benefit of both humans and ecosystems. Topics will include stormwater, flooding, water pollution, stream impairment, drought, and more. Moderated by Nikki Coddington, Irvington Green Policy Task Force.

Click here for recording

Resilience through Mitigation and Adaptation: Two projects

Friday, Oct. 22, 2pm, Saw Mill River Room

Karen Simons, Bedford 2030
Budd Veverka, Mianus River Gorge Preserve
Moderated by Simon Skolnik

Drawdown Bedford, the nonprofit Bedford 2030's new community carbon sequestration project, quantifies all types of land use as pertains to sequestering carbon dioxide. Mianus River Gorge's Creating Forest Islands project restores forest health through the natural process of succession, the removal of invasive plants and vines, an intervention plan to eradicate the hemlock woolly adelgid, and a tree-planting strategy that creates islands of trees in the newer, post-agricultural forest. Moderated by Simon Skolnik, Conservation Board

Not recorded

Too Much Water, Too Little Water: Building community resilience to flooding and drought

Friday, Oct. 22, 2pm, Hudson River Room

Julie Noble, Environmental & Sustainability Coordinator, City of Kingston

Janice Whitney, EPA WaterSense Liaison & Sustainability Advisor

With climate disruption bringing more events of extreme precipitation as well as drought in some regions, what can CACs and sustainability committees do to help their communities adapt to flooding and other water-related climate change impacts? Green Infrastructure (GI) programs to create resilient, nature-based solutions to manage stormwater runoff can be a highly effective tool to help reduce flooding and pollution.

Julie Noble will discuss GI as a municipal response to stormwater management, water quality and quantity concerns, and open space protection. She will highlight the various methods by which the City of Kingston has used GI to address combined sewer overflows, stormwater runoff and enhancing greenspaces, and how local CACs and Climate Smart committees can play a critical role.

Janice Whitney will cover NYS’s Green infrastructure Grant Program (GIGP), explaining the environmental benefits including flood management/mitigation, reduced energy and climate change impacts, groundwater recharge, protection and restoration of streams and wetlands, removal of runoff from sanitary sewer systems, aquifer recharge, through several examples across NYS, both large and small, including Syracuse’s award winning Save the Rain Campaign. She will also touch on the EPA's WaterSense program to encourage water efficiency and conservation, which can help communities not only deal with drought but reduce the amount of water entering systems during periods of flooding, as well as contribute to energy savings in municipal water systems. Moderated by Nikki Coddington, Irvington Green Policy Task Force.

Click here for recording


The Birds & the Bees (the talk your father never gave you)

Saturday, Oct. 23, 10am, Saw Mill River Room

Dan Raichel, NRDC

Dan will explain the science behind the harm posed by neonicotinoid pesticides (“neonics”) to biodiversity and their surprising prevalence. These popular pesticides contaminate New York soil, water, and plant life on a nearly unprecedented scale, raising alarm bells not just for the birds and bees, but also a whole host of wildlife, clean water, and our own health. Dan will share information on legislation we can impact—the New York Birds & Bees Protection Act— a bill currently under review that would eliminate the vast majority of neonics entering New York’s environment by prohibiting wasteful and unnecessary neonic uses. Moderated by Haven Colgate, Hastings-on-Hudson Conservation Commission.

Health of the Urban Forest

Threats to Urban Forests

Saturday, Oct. 23, 10am, Hudson River Room

Taro Ietaka, Westchester County Department of Parks

Elsa Anderson, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

What is happening to our trees?? Our Northeast forests are being bombarded with threats. Taro Ietaka, Recreation Supervisor for Westchester County, will discuss the various pests, pathogens and diseases affecting our urban forests. Following Taro, Elsa Anderson, from the Cary Institute, will discuss her research on how tree diversity, species selection, and proper planting considerations can make the urban tree scape more resilient. Moderated by Ellen Grogan, Pound Ridge Conservation Board.

Invasive Species, Biodiversity, and Grass-roots Activism

Saturday, Oct. 23, 1pm, Saw Mill River Room

Carolynn Sears, The Invasives Project-Pound Ridge

Invasive plants, animals, and other organisms cause harm to human health, the economy, and the environment, and impacts to the diversity of our natural communities are increasingly evident. Carolynn runs an extraordinarily effective community project, The Invasives Project-Pound Ridge (Tip-PR), a grass-roots campaign established in 2012. Learn about TIP-PR's ongoing outreach and education activities and take home practical ideas for your community. Great steps can be taken at the local level with little money and the efforts of a few committed people to address this challenge. Moderated by Haven Colgate, Hastings-on-Hudson Conservation Commission.

Developing a Successful Community Tree Program

Saturday, Oct. 23, 1pm, Hudson River Room

George Profous, NYSDEC District 3

Whether your municipality is considering adopting or updating a tree ordinance, instituting a tree planting program, or starting a tree committee, this panel will discuss ways to make the project successful. George Profous will share his experience in helping local communities prepare budgets, select tree species, understand maintenance needs and engage strong local advocates to develop a program with long lasting economic, social and health benefits for the community. Moderated by Ellen Grogan, Pound Ridge Conservation Board.