The Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District administers the Schoharie Watershed Program which incorporates two programs that help Schoharie Watershed towns and landowners secure technical assistance and grant funding.
Schoharie Watershed Stream Management Program
Established in partnership with NYC DEP in 1996, this program seeks to advance state-of-the-art watershed management projects, policies and programs to improve and protect the Schoharie Creek and its tributaries. Initiatives for towns and landowners overseen by the SWSMP include:
• Stream Management Implementation Program (SMIP)
• Stream and Floodplain Restoration Projects
• Catskill Streams Buffer Initiative
• Stream and Watershed Assessments
• Education & Outreach
Watershed Assistance Program (WAP)
Established in 2002, the WAP facilitates projects that go above and beyond the realm of the SWSMP such as those that support the sustainable economic development of the Mountaintop region. The WAP advocates sustainable economic development and a proactive approach to watershed management.
The Schoharie Reservoir Watershed: The Focus of the Schoharie Watershed Program
The Schoharie Watershed basin is 314 square miles and spans 13 municipalities and 3 counties in the northeast Catskill Mountains. It is part of New York City's water supply. The Schoharie Reservoir is in the northern-most part of the city's water system where the communities are predominantly rural. Outdoor-based tourism, such as skiing, hiking, fishing, and biking, and the myriad businesses that rely on tourists and second homeowners, is a significant part of the local economy.
When the Memorandum of Agreement between NYC, the US EPA and the upstate communities was signed in 1997, it established a host of programs and regulations designed to minimize degradation of the water supply. A key component of these Watershed Partnership and Protection Programs focused on assessment of stream systems and the development of detailed Stream Management Plans on a sub-basin scale. Since 1997, the Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District (GCSWCD) has worked in partnership with NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) to develop comprehensive Stream Management Plans (SMP) in all primary sub-basins to the Schoharie reservoir.