Studying, protecting, and sharing our local watershed
EUS is a participant in grants promoting community science, sustainable trail design, and dam assessment
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently awarded Bard two Hudson River Estuary Program grants, in addition to one awarded in 2015 to support the development of a science-based community stewardship group called the Saw Kill Watershed Community (SKWC). The two new grants are both feasibility studies, one to plan for improvements to trails along the water, and one to determine next steps for a dam along the Saw Kill. Bard was also awarded a one-million-dollar NYSERDA grant to study the feasibility of micro-hydroelectric power generation on the Saw Kill and similar waterways. EUS faculty, staff, students and partners are part of all of these projects.
SKWC brings together Bard faculty and staff and local community members. EUS professor Eli Dueker led the grant-writing team, and Dr. Dueker, EUS Executive Administrator Tom O’Dowd form the interim leadership team, and together with Carolyn Klocker of Dutchess County Cornell Cooperative Extentsion and Red Hook community members Karen Schneller-McDonald and Sheila Buff. SKWC's mission is “building community through hands-on science, education, advocacy, to protect the Saw Kill watershed and its ecological, recreational, and historical resources." This project uses and connects scientific research to inform and raise community stewardship of the watershed. In January 2016 the group began holding monthly “community conversations” to focus on local watershed issues and take actions.For more information on the Saw Kill Watershed Community: