The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in coordination with Black River watershed stakeholders, recently approved the “Black River 9 Element Watershed Management Plan: Reducing Phosphorus, Nitrogen and Sediment loading in priority Sub Watersheds”.
Stakeholders and municipalities implementing projects within a 9 element (9E) plan are expected to be more successful in leveraging state and federal funding because 9E plans are consistent with the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidance to develop watershed management plans. For example, applications submitted to DEC’s Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) statewide grant program that identify projects from a 9E watershed plan receive higher points.
Leveraging state and federal funding for local infrastructure projects that improve water quality is expected to reduce the burden of taxpayers while improving local quality of life and promoting business development. Recently, the City of Watertown was awarded a $2.3 million dollar NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) Grant to upgrade municipal wastewater infrastructure. Also, the Village of Lowville was awarded $2.7 million dollar EFC grant to upgrade sewer infrastructure.
The Black River 9 element plan can be used as a model for other watersheds, provides incentives for projects that will address critical water quality issues, can be used in project planning and development, identifies metrics for reductions that will be achieved through project implementation, and contributes to DEC’s statewide strategy for Clean Water and compliance with the federal Clean Water Act.
To view the plan, click here.