Welcome to NYenvironcom!

Please feel free to forward our newsletter to people who may share your concerns.
If it’s your first time here, you’re in good company. It’s our first time, too. We’re putting out this newsletter to let you know what we are doing and, along the way, to see if there are ways you might want to get to know us and get involved. Our hope is that, through these periodic postings, you can keep abreast of our ongoing work in the interest of thoughtful development.
Our focus is land and water. It’s hard to imagine anyone whose life and future are not affected by the use and re-use of these two crucial environmental elements, not to mention how we care for and keep them for the generations that will follow us. So, issues regarding the quality of water, the preservation of wetlands and flood plains, and maximum efficiency in planning land development all fall within our purview. Sound important? We think so, and are taking action on a number of fronts to encourage thoughtful and informed decisions concerning water and space for everyone.
Things We've Been Up To
The Proposed Rivendale Development
As part of our advocacy efforts, we have brought experts to appear before the Deerpark Planning Board to present valuable expertise in environmental and safety concerns relating to this project (a 21 lot subdivision directly adjacent to the Neversink River). See Advocacy section further down for more details.

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Our first face-to-face in 2020 not at a planning board meeting just to meet people. We were there with our partners, the Deerpark Rural Alliance, and actually sold some of our unique and ever so tasty Forage Pizza Smoked Trout Dip.
(You may not know it but you need some of this! Email us to place an order)

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Action in the Field
WaterInsight is a NYenvironcom program that strives on several fronts to generate awareness and data on the quality of water in those parts of the Delaware and Hudson watersheds that are in New York. Here are some things we are doing: Three water quality monitors have been installed in the lower Basha Kill where it meets the Neversink river, upstream and downstream of the former USGS station in Cuddebackville, NY (Live data feed). The monitors are collecting data about the conditions in the lower Basha Kill in an area where we’ve seen numerous instances of pollution. One of the results of NYenvironcom’s partnership with Deerpark Rural Alliance, these monitoring stations are concrete examples of our information gathering services keeping stakeholders and municipalities informed and armed with facts in offering counsel and argument where land use issues are being decided.

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Did you know that there are an estimated 2.2 million acres of wetland in the state of New York but only 1 million acres currently on file with the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation? We are using drones to locate wetlands and flood plains related to projected development, recreational use, and wildlife habitat.
These efforts and those of other environmental organizations to discover, photograph, and map undocumented wetlands, provide solid data for state agencies to use in their mandate to preserve New York’s natural endowment. And what we learn we share with local governments and concerned citizens considering proposed developments.

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Advocacy - Rivendale
Information gathered by our aerial mapping and on-the-ground research has revealed that a much of the area under consideration is in a flood plain or flood way, that it is intersected by a class C trout stream; is in the blast zone of two natural gas pipelines; and would face serious septic drainage difficulties — all crucial information that we have provided to local stakeholders and planners in their efforts to plot a future wisely and knowledgeably.
We brought in our experts, Kevin Draganchuk (CEA Engineering) and Paul Rubin (HydroQuest), to review the development plans and speak at the public planning board hearing held this past September. Mr. Draganchuk’s report focused on flood plains and wetlands relating to the Neversink River, a class C trout stream which flows past the proposed Rivendale site while Mr. Rubin dealt with geological concerns relating to the site’s proximity to two gas pipelines. The reports of both can be found online.
Bringing professional environmental engineers, like Kevin and Paul, into the public conversations provides policy makers, town planners, and stakeholders with a common vocabulary to discuss and shape proposed development. We hope this newsletter can expand this open forum for anyone involved to discuss land use, re-use, measured development and environmental values that serve present and future needs.
The Deerpark Rural Alliance is Fiscally Sponsored by NYenvironcom

DRA is a nonpartisan group of local residents who have been working since 2013 on local issues in Deerpark. We have been advocating for rural preservation and smart planning by serving as a watchdog for ongoing and upcoming developments, as well as following the Town of Deerpark’s municipal actions. A particular example is seen in the large urban Dragon Springs facility and its satellite projects, many of which challenge our rural character, our watershed (the streams, the Basha Kill and the Neversink), and our wildlife, with little regard shown for their deleterious impact on our natural environment.

DRA and NYenvironcom are working together to further our shared goals on a wide range of issues: policy development, making new connections on land use, community, and climate, through joint projects, outreach, educational initiatives, and the development of databases. These are the tools that can help communities get to the heart of these issues. DRA and NYenvironcom are making information transparent and available to the public with website postings of our data and links to educational, scientific, and community resources.

Current projects include:
• WaterInsight

• Building a database of documents on issues of concern—open and accessible to the public

• Serving as a watchdog on projects in Deerpark, Mt. Hope, and Mamakating

• Outreach and advocacy to the Neversink Valley and the northern Shawangunk Ridge communities

• Joining in advocacy with the 150 organizations in the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed (CDRW)

• Participating in water and land use conferences with regional and state stakeholders

• Developing a presence on social media
So… That’s pretty much it for now.

... How Can You Get Involved?

First, you should know that you are more than welcome to join us in this work.
Join us in our forums and roundtables. Support our work at public planning meetings and help us in gathering the information that lends credence to what we present there.
Acquire, position, and collect data from water monitoring stations. And, hey, can you fly a drone? Our mapping of wetlands and monitoring of development sites is ongoing and far, far from anything like completion.
If any of this sounds worthwhile, please, contact us. We’re longing to get to know you.
As always, there’s the $ part.
Do we need it? Sure.
Is it tax deductible? Absolutely.
How about Amazon Smile? That works too. Click here for all the info you need.
Thanks to our 2020 sponsors and supporters.

Aspen Community Foundation

Basha Kill Area Association

Stroud Water Research Center
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Alex (Al) Scilla

Founder & Director

All content is © 2020 NYenvironcom, Ulster County, New York; a 501(c)3 public charity.
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