Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Community Resiliency Trainings bolster flood resiliency, protect watershed health

preventing erosion

Over one hundred people attended Community Resiliency Trainings throughout the Champlain and Upper Hudson River Watersheds.  Ten events bolstered flood resiliency toolboxes for highway departments, prepared communities for climate change, and instructed Soil and Water Conservation District staff how to protect watershed health through erosion prevention.

“Soil and Water Conservation Districts partnered with Watershed Coalitions to host trainings that were laser focused on climate resiliency,” said Upper Hudson River Watershed Coalition president Caitlin Stewart.  “Our target audience was municipalities, departments of public works, contractors, SWCD staff, environmental and conservation groups, and the public.”

During a RRAMP training held in Wells NY, Franklin County SWCD’s Chastity Miller (left) explains to District staff how to use a new app for roadside erosion data collection.

Trainings included classroom and field components.  Participants applied concepts, took measurements, and toured completed projects in real-world scenarios.

Emergency Stream Intervention trainings detailed how streams become unstable, why flooding occurs, and how communities can address impacts.

North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative trainings certified participants to identify bridges and culverts that are difficult for aquatic organisms (fish) to pass through.  Participants learned how to assess road-stream crossings using a standardized, online scoring system.

Rural Roads Active Management Program training attendees piloted a new app developed by Franklin County SWCD for roadside erosion data collection. They learned about erosion prevention technology like coconut blankets and compost socks.  Driving tours spotlighted road and streambank stabilization projects, culvert sizing, green armor, hydroseeding, and natural channel design.

“We appreciate the opportunity to offer these trainings throughout the two watersheds,” said Champlain Watershed Improvement Coalition of New York President Kristin Ballou.  “All events were well attended, and attendees were impressed with the quality of information provided and grateful to receive instruction on these topics.”

Hamilton County SWCD’s Lenny Croote (left) explains how he used turf reinforcement mats to stabilize the inflow area of a culvert to District staff during a RRAMP training held in Wells NY.

Funding for trainings was provided to the Upper Hudson River Watershed Coalition and the Champlain Watershed Improvement Coalition by the Soil and Water Conservation Committee in partnership with the Department of Environmental Conservation.

For more about CWICNY, visit

Photo at top: Hamilton County SWCD’s Lenny Croote (right) explains how he used green armor to prevent erosion of a steep roadside bank to municipal staff during a RRAMP training held in Indian Lake NY.

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Caitlin Stewart manages the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District. The District's mission is to manage and promote the wise use of Natural Resources in Hamilton County. Caitlin will be sharing the District's conservation-focused services, programs, and events. She’s been a full time resident of Hamilton County since 2008 and is an avid hiker, skier, paddler, and biker. She is obsessed with adventuring with her dog Artemis.

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