Posts Tagged ‘dams’

Thursday, December 1, 2022

DEC Announces More Than $500,000 Available for Grants to Support Eligible Dam Repairs

dec logoOn November 30, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced $564,925 in grant funding is now available to assist eligible dam owners with infrastructure repair costs. Funding is provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) High Hazard Potential Dam grant program. DEC is accepting applications for grants to assist with technical, planning, design, and other pre-construction activities associated with the rehabilitation of eligible dams classified as High Hazard dams.

“Ensuring dam safety is a top priority for DEC and we encourage eligible dam owners to take advantage of this important funding,” said Commissioner Seggos. “The grants announced today [Nov. 30] will support pre-construction engineering and design activities as part of an overall program to help municipal and not-for-profit owners of High Hazard dams make necessary repairs and improve public safety.”

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Dam repairs

indian lake dam

This fall the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District commenced construction at the Hawkinsville Dam in Boonville a few miles outside the Blue Line. The project includes upgrades, totaling about $1.7 million, to improve the dam’s safety and stability.

I haven’t written about the project because it falls outside the Adirondack Park, but it marks the start of a series of long-needed upgrades to the regulating district’s portfolio of dams, including some of the most iconic in the Adirondacks.

Conklingville Dam, which created the Great Sacandaga impoundment in the 1930s, has received around $20 million in state funding in recent years for the largest upgrade in the dam’s history. I visited the dam at the end of September for a valve test, descending into the heart of the dam where original hand-crank valves open the gates that let water through.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Proposed dams on the Upper Hudson: A look back

upper hudson dams

While researching an article on the Gilchrist bridge, I was asked about a river feature on the Hudson River, river left, just north ( up-river ) of the Washburn Eddy, or approximately 2 miles south of the Riparius Bridge.   To some the feature appeared as a “C” shaped “dug way” that could have allowed water from the river to “circulate” (be diverted) into the “C’.  To do what ?  Might this be a “channel” for water to be diverted into a hydroelectric powerhouse ?  A review of property / tax maps indicate that there was, across the river, an adjacent small piece of property approximately the same shape and size.  After some deed history research I may have found a possible explanation.  There was proposed (in 1911), several storage dams or containment dams with small power plants with penstocks or water pressure tunnels, planned along the Upper Hudson River in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.   This led to my exploration of these various proposed dams.

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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Once Upon a Dam

indian lake dam

By Daniel Way

Well, we’ve finally done it. The human race, which emerged from the mists of time millions of years ago, needed only two centuries since discovering fossil fuels to belch so much carbon dioxide and methane into the Earth’s atmosphere that our glaciers and permafrost are melting, sea levels are rising, and violent storms are causing massive damage to our farmlands, coastlines and residential areas. According to Bill McKibben, the avatar against climate change and founder of the worldwide environmental movement 350.org, mankind has pumped as much CO2 into the atmosphere since 1989 as it did in all of human history before that. Whole countries such as India, Micronesia, The Seychelles, Maldives, and other island countries may become unlivable or submerged, vast swaths of Australia and California are being incinerated, and mass extinctions are underway. Although some countries are belatedly taking real steps to combat climate change, ours as a nation is not one of them. Our individual states are left to deal with the problem in whatever way works best for them, if they do anything at all. 

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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The End of Arbitrary Powers to Dam Adirondack Rivers

indian river

The State Legislature has just adjourned, but on a good many nights this past month I grew sleepy watching legislative TV or legislative proceedings on the internet. For the non-debate pieces of legislation, meaning when the legislative majority is not allowing minority debate on bills, the viewer is treated to the following exchanges in a monotone, one after the other:  The speaker or his representative, or the Senate president or her representative: “The clerk will read the bill.” The clerk: “a bill to” …whatever it does. The speaker or his representative: “The clerk will read the final section.” The clerk: “this act shall take effect immediately.” The speaker, president or their representative: “The vote: 63 in favor. The bill is passed.” All of that has taken less than ten seconds. Next.

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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Keeping an eye on dirt

fall salmon river anglersThere are a lot of rivers, streams and lakes to visit. For casual observers, it’s sometimes hard to tell how natural they are. Last year, I spent some time digging into all the ways that dams along the Saranac River change the flow of water and the life of fish.

But dams change something else, too: dirt.

Dams hold back and can suddenly release dirt, or they change the way water flows and those changes, in turn, change how sand and gravel build up both before and after dams’ spot in the river. Whole books, including the classic textbook Fluvial Processes in Geomorphology, have been written on these changes to dirt accumulation, usually known by the more technical word “sediment.”

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Saturday, April 3, 2021

$650,000 in grant funding available for dam repairs

Floating islands going over Higley Dam, c. 1943Funding Available to Local Government and Non-Profit Owners of ‘High Hazard’ Dams for Pre-Construction Activities
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced $650,000 in grant funding is now available to assist eligible dam owners with infrastructure repair costs. Funding is provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) High Hazard Potential Dam (HHPD) grant program. Of the dozens of states that applied to this federal program, New York was one of two states that received the maximum amount of funding. DEC is now accepting applications for grants to assist with technical, planning, design, and other pre-construction activities associated with the rehabilitation of eligible dams classified as High Hazard dams.

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Thursday, February 11, 2021

Stewarts Landing: Long dammed but still special

With the water down for the winter, it’s easy to imagine the channel as the Mohawks of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy once saw it.  Though the current dam on Stewarts Landing determines the summer level of the water, the top of the upstream rapids appearing when the level goes down is the determining factor for the winter level.  This waterway was suitable for canoeing long before any dams were constructed.

What we call Stewarts Landing is the 2 mile stretch of flat water carrying the outflow of Canada and Lily Lakes to a concrete dam. Once called Fish Creek, the stream through and below Stewarts Landing is currently known as Sprite Creek.  Below the dam, the unnavigable rocky stream flows into East Canada Creek, which joins the Mohawk and then Hudson Rivers.

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