Bard College Projects to Improve American Eel Habitat and Study Better Linkages Between Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area and Bard Trails are Awarded Hudson River Estuary GrantsANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— Bard College was awarded two New York State Hudson River Estuary Grants as part of the $3 million in awards Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced this week for new projects to help communities improve recreation access, protect water quality, conserve open space, and increase storm resiliency in the Hudson River Estuary watershed. A $49,950 watershed grant was awarded to the Bard Office of Sustainability to conduct a study assessing the impacts of maintenance and repair, partial removal, or entire removal of the Lower Saw Kill dam. The dam on the Saw Kill Creek is a known barrier to aquatic connectivity for American eel, a Species of Greatest Conservation Need. A second $44,744 river access grant was awarded to the Bard Environmental and Urban Studies Program to support a feasibility study to explore trail repairs and boat launch options to the Tivoli South Bay shoreline trail. Both projects are affiliated with the Saw Kill Watershed Community.
“We are grateful to have the opportunity to enhance our specific understanding of the 100-year-old Lower Saw Kill dam,” said Laurie Husted, sustainability manager in the Bard Office of Sustainability. “We look forward to working with stakeholders and professionals to identify a sustainable approach to its management that decreases its impact on the ecosystem.”
“The Hudson River plays a key role in New York’s storied history and helped build the state’s economy and its very identity,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will help protect this treasured waterway and its surrounding communities, as well as create more recreational opportunities to be enjoyed by New Yorkers and visitors alike for years to come.”
A total of $1.76 million in Hudson River Estuary grants were awarded to 36 projects. An additional $1.25 million is now available for organizations and municipalities to apply for through Requests for Applications (application deadline: June 30, 2016). The newly released Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda includes a number of projects and programs to conserve or improve: clean water; community resiliency; the vital estuary ecosystem; fish, wildlife and their habitats; natural scenery; and river access and education. For more information and complete details about the new grant funding, please visit: www.dec.ny.gov/lands/4920.html.
Working together to study, protect, and teach others about the Saw kill Creek and its watershed, the Saw Kill Watershed Community (SKWC) is made up of Bard faculty, staff, and students; members of the conservation advisory councils of the towns of Red Hook, Rhinebeck, and Milan; local, county, and state officials; representatives of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, the Hudson River Estuary Program, and Cornell Cooperative Extension (Dutchess); and several nonprofits, including Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, and the Hudson River Watershed Alliance. The group’s mission is to protect the Saw Kill watershed and its ecological, recreational, and historic resources through hands-on science, education, and advocacy. For more information, please visit: sawkillwatershed.wordpress.com.
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Bard Press Contact:Darren O'Sullivan
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