Water Quality Committee

The Mission of the Rockland County Water Quality Coordinating Committee (WQCC) is to protect, conserve and restore Rockland County's water resources. Established in 1992, membership in the RCWQC is open to any organization, municipality, government agency, or individual interested in the mission and goals of the committee. The WQCC hosts quarterly events, open to the public where guest speakers present on topics around water resources issues. The committee also tries to host an annual waterway cleanup in partnership with Keep Rockland Beautiful.

We meet periodically (about 4 times a year), usually on the a Tuesday of the month.
All meetings are open to the public. 

2023 WQC Meeting Dates  


Chair (Rockland Country Club), Matt Ceplo
Vice Chair, VACANT
Second Vice Chair, (SCWA) Jim Elling
Secretary (Public), Tolly Beck
Treasurer, VACANT
Executive Director (Rockland County SWCD and DER), Brianna Rosamilia

Listed below are past meetings Agendas and Minutes.

Agendas                 Minutes                   
WQC Agenda 11-14-23 WQC Meeting Notes 11-14-23
WQC Agenda 09-19-23 WQC Meeting Notes 09-19-23
WQC Agenda 04-18-23 WQC Meeting Notes 04-18-23
WQC Agenda 03-14-23 WQC Meeting Notes 03-14-23
WQC 2022 Meeting Dates  January 19, 2022 Meeting Canceled
WQC Agenda 11-09-21  
WQC Agenda 09-14-21  
WQC Agenda 03-16-21 Meeting Notes 03-16-21
WQC Agenda 01-19-2021 Meeting Notes 01-19-21
WQC 2021 Meeting Dates  
WQC Agenda 11-17-20 Meeting Notes 11-17-20
WQC Agenda 09-15-20 Meeting Notes 09-15-20
WQC Agenda 01-14-20 Meeting Notes 01-14-20
WQC 2020 Meeting Dates  
WQC Agenda 11-12-19 Meeting Notes 11-12-19
WQC Agenda 09-10-19 Meeting Notes 09-10-19
WQC Agenda 03-12-19 Meeting Notes 03-12-19
WQC Agenda 01-22-19 Meeting Notes 01-22-19
WQC 2019 Meeting Dates  

Educational Presentations

The main mission of the RC WQCC is to educate the public on water resources management issues that may impact Rockland's resources.  The Board hosts guest speakers on diverse topics. Below please find previous presentations by guest speakers.  

Wild Oyster Populations in the Hudson River Estuary by Katie Mosher-Smith, NY Harbor Foundation.  Katie Mosher-Smith, Restoration Program Manager for the Billion Oyster Project, an initiative of the New York Harbor Foundation and Harbor School. Katie will present an overview of the project, its impact so far, effects of the old and new Tappan Zee Bridge, and ways locals can help with this effort.  [Presented November 21, 2017]

Best Management Practices (BMP's) for Golf Courses by Ken Benoit, Jr., CGCS, President of New York Golf Foundation/ Vice President of the Metropolitan Golf Course Superintendents Association. Ken will be speaking about the New York State Best Management Practices initiative (curated by the New York Golf Foundation). His presentation will focus on BMP's related to water conservation and water quality protection. These BMP'S can be very helpful as a guide for the home owners, landscapers, park and sports field managers as well as golf courses. [Presented January 30, 2018]

Rockland County Specific Water Quality Resource Mapper by Jennifer Zunino-Smith, Rockland County Cornell Cooperative Extension.  Jennifer will present the newly created CCE Water Quality website and mapper that is now live for the public to view. She will also provide updates on water resources and stormwater management issues the public and municipalities may face in the Spring and Summer months. [Presented March 27, 2018]

Irrigation Technologies by Brian E. Vinchesi (LEED AP, EIT, FASIC, CID, CIC, CLIA, CGI, CLIM), Irrigation Consulting, Inc. Brian discussed the role of irrigation in large scale and small scale projects,irrigation standards, and maintenance of technologies installed. *Recording available upon request. [Presented September 11, 2018]

Homes for Heroes Site Design by Ken DeGennaro, PE and Certified Floodplain Manager, Brooker Engineering. Ken discussed the concept and construction designs for the green infrastructure installations throughout the old Camp Shanks property. [Presented March 12,2019]

Water Conservation Rebates by Chelsea Wulff, Senior Conservation Program Specialist with Suez NY. Chelsea presented an overview of SUEZ Conserve, the Suez Conservation program implemented in 2017 to encourage customers to adapt more water efficiency through rebates on water saving fixtures, smart water use workshops, and community outreach. [Presented September 10, 2019]

WQC 09-19-23 Guest Speaker, Beth Roessler

Beth Roessler, Stream Buffer Coordinator for the NYS DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program. Beth presents on the reasons and resources for protecting and restoring healthy native plants along streams, including details about the Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs program.

Minimizing the Impacts of HABs

Dr. Stephen J. Souza, owner of Clean Waters Consulting, LLC provides an overview of the attributes of cyanobacteria that enable them to quickly attain and maintain bloom status and the health risks caused by the cyanotoxins released during a HAB. Most of the presentation will focus on proactive reservoir management, starting with how to forecast a HAB and a discussion of various in-reservoir measures used to prevent, control and mitigate HABs.

Discussion on PFAS in Rockland County

Suez NY staff share updates on management strategies and next steps associated with the recent PFAS levels found in local wells. Additional information on this topic can be found here:

Rockland County Water Quality Coordinating Committee (WQCC) - Birding and Their Community Impact

Dr. Elizabeth Cherry presents her research on birding for her book titled For the Birds: Protecting Wildlife through the Naturalist Gaze. As an environmental sociologist, Liz studies the connections among people, animals, and the environment. Liz highlights how birders develop a special way of looking at birds and their place in the natural world, and how it inspires birders to devote their time to community science and wildlife conservation efforts. You will learn about the relationship between people and the natural world, and where your own birding and outdoor experiences fit into these connections with nature.

Environmental Racism and Methods for Inclusivity

Dr. Michael Finewood and Chana Friedenberg will co-present on the topics of environmental racism throughout the nation and Hudson Valley as well as methods for local watershed groups to increase their inclusivity and better support the communities they serve. Michael Finewood is an environmental social scientist with research and teaching interests in watershed governance, community development, green infrastructure, equity, and justice. Current collaborative research projects include an analysis of equity in green infrastructure incentive programs, a needs assessment for nonprofit water advocacy organizations, and the development of a watershed-based framework for studying environmental justice. He is the chair of the Department of Environmental Studies and Science at Pace University. Chana is a Planner for Hudson Valley Regional Council, focusing on Drinking Water Source Protection Planning as well as technical assistance and outreach with Watershed Alliances and MS4's throughout the region. Chana completed her Master of Science degree in Environmental Science at Pace University, concentrating on watershed governance, collaboration, and environmental justice. She also serves on the Rockland County Environmental Management Council representing the Town of Ramapo. [Presented November 17, 2020]. For further information on environmental racism please review the attached reading list created by Dr. Finewood. (use the EJ Reading List).