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Union to host conference on Mohawk Watershed


U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko
U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko

U.S. Rep. Paul D. Tonko is the keynote speaker at Union’s third annual conference on the physical aspects of the Mohawk River watershed on Friday, March 18.

The daylong symposium in the F.W. Olin Center features nearly two dozen presentations on topics including flooding, ecosystem analysis, water quality, and the management and future of the watershed. More than 100 participants are expected, including scientists, engineers and other professionals and students. The conference is open to registered participants.

Tonko will discuss his “Mighty Waters” initiative. A task force of 25 leaders from business, community and education, including College President Stephen C. Ainlay, was created to help develop a regional plan for waterfront development throughout the Capital Region.

Tonko will deliver his remarks during a dinner in Old Chapel beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The Mohawk River watershed is a unique and distinctive drainage basin that originates in the valley between the western Adirondacks and the Tug Hill Plateau and flows 140 miles to the east, where it joins the Hudson River. A group led by the Coalition of Soil and Water conservation districts are working on the first comprehensive watershed management plan.

Other speakers include:

• James Besha, Albany Engineering Corp.: “Hydroelectric Power in the Mohawk River Watershed: Past, Present and Future”

• Howard Goebel, New York State Canal Corp.: “Unlocking Utica Harbor, A Restoration Case Study”

• Simon Litten, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (retired): “Sediment, the Mohawk, and the Big Picture”

• David Mosher, Schenectady County Soil and Water Conservation District: “Working toward a Watershed Management Plan: A Progress Report from the Mohawk River Watershed Coalition of Conservation Districts”

• Frank Montecalvo, consultant, West Canada River Keepers: “Water Rights in the Balance: The Mohawk Valley Water Authority vs. NYS Canal Corp. Dispute”

The conference is organized by John Garver, geology professor and Jaclyn Cockburn, who teaches Earth science and geology at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine.

For more information, including a schedule of presentations and registration information, click here.