Watershed Alliances

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What is a watershed alliance?

A group of concerned community members working together, in some cases with government staff, municipal officials, academic institutions, scientists, artists and more to improve the health of a waterway for social, economic and environmental growth. 

A watershed is the geographic boundary where water flows and is stored. The boundary is typically designated by high peaks or mountains draining water to a valley or lower lying area. Watersheds do cross municipal boundaries thus, collaboration across municipalities is necessary to best manage water resources. Watershed Alliances help with promote collaboration to best manage these important waterways!

How many watershed alliances exist in Rockland County?

Two- the Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance and Minisceongo Creek Watershed Alliance!

The Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance has been around for nearly a decade and is currently compromised of dedicated volunteers, artists, scientists, and academics. 

The Sparkill Creek Watershed is nature's address of where we live and work. The Sparkill Creek Watershed is one of many watersheds that flow into the Hudson River. It is plagued by the creek's high level of bacteria, which was discovered several years ago by the Riverkeeper Organization. We know that poor water quality can be the result of residential, commercial, and industrial usage, including the two sewage treatment facilities in the area. But we still don't understand what the source is for the high levels of bacteria. That's why we formed our Alliance and became self-appointed stewards of the Sparkill Creek. With the help of the Hudson River Estuary Program at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), we were trained in proper scientific methods (by the EPA) to monitor our waters. We have learned how to work for a healthy watershed by partnering with Riverkeeper's stream monitoring program and with the DEC's Trees for Tribs stream bank restoration plantings. Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance members are active participants in streamside clean-up programs, and volunteers for watershed eel and amphibian monitoring.

To learn more about the Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance, please visit their website here: http://www.sparkillcreek.org/

The Minisceongo Creek Watershed Alliance is the newest watershed group in Rockland. It is coordinated by staff at the Rockland County Soil & Water Conservation District, thus you can find information on this Alliance right here on this website!

The Minisceongo Creek flows from its headwaters at Lake Welch in Harriman State Park and spans ~11 miles until it meets the Hudson River Estuary near Genon Energy Power Plant and Bowline Point Town Park.
Our Creek serves as a resource for education based activities, research, and community building.
Due to urbanization, the stream faces challenges such as trash build up, flooding, and erosion. These challenges impact both the aesthetic of the Creek as well as educational opportunities within and near the Creek.

The current goal of the MCWA is to create a coordinated effort to restore the Minisceongo Creek through public, private, and non-government partnerships (P3). This includes community engagement, beautification, and discovering key concerns.

Minisceongo Creek Watershed Alliance (MCWA)

Over the summer of 2017, a group of local and state organizations including the Village of West Haverstraw, Keep Rockland Beautiful, Rockland Conservation & Service Corps, NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program and more met to discuss the health of the Minisceongo Creek subwatershed that feeds into the Hudson River Estuary.  Several projects were identified during this meeting including public awareness, erosion control, flood control, stream bank stabilization and more.  The Alliance has expanded to include Garner Arts Center.  A watershed cleanup was scheduled in 2019, during the Fall Waterways Campaign hosted by Keep Rockland Beautiful.  

The formation of the Alliance was sparked by The Nature Conservancy, Scenic Hudson and Hudson River Watershed Alliance workshop in 2017.  The Climate Resiliency Building workshop is summarized in the Meeting Report.

The mighty Minisceongo Creek flows from its headwaters at Lake Welch in Harriman State Park 

and spans ~11 miles until it meets the Hudson River Estuary near Genon Energy Power Plant and Bowline Point Town Park.

Our Creek serves as a resource for education based activities, research, and community building.
Due to urbanization, the stream faces challenges such as trash build up, flooding, and erosion. These challenges impact both the aesthetic of the Creek as well as educational opportunities within and near the Creek.

The MCWA created an information flier for the public and those interested in learning more on the vision of the Alliance. 

Meeting Agendas and Meeting Notes: Only the present year of meeting Agendas and Notes are available. Email to request past meeting notes. 

January 10, 2020 - Meeting Notes

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A map of waterways in Rockland is listed below. Click on map for a larger view.

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Available Resources related to the Minisceongo Creek Watershed

Below you can find downloadable PDF's that provide historical information, water quality data, recreation opportunities, community science projects, flooding and erosion studies, arts and more. 

History: GARNER Historic District history, Haverstraw Brick Museum

Water Quality Data: Stream Biomonitoring (PEERS)

Fisheries: American eel (glass eel) study

Flooding: Town of Haverstraw and Stony Point Road- Stream Crossing Inventory Document

Arts and Environmental Education: Lesson plans

Volunteer with us: Cleanup events, community science projects

Please see our cancellations page for up to date information on meeting, event, class and exam cancellations and/or postponements.