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Union to host annual Mohawk Watershed Symposium - 2013


 The lower Mohawk and Lock 7 (Photo by J.I. Garver)
The lower Mohawk and Lock 7 (Photo by J.I. Garver)

Rebecca Wodder, a senior advisor to the U.S. Department of the Interior, will deliver the keynote address at the annual Mohawk Watershed Symposium Friday, March 22 at College Park Hall.

Wodder will discuss "The National Blueways System - Stakeholder-led River Conservation on a Watershed Scale" during a banquet Friday night. Registration is required for both the meetings and the banquet. For more information, click here.

Created last spring, the National Blueways System recognizes rivers and their watersheds that are highly valued recreational, social, economic, cultural and ecological assets in their communities.

From 1995 to 2011, Wodder served as president of American Rivers, a national nonprofit conservation organization that works to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. She has been recognized as one of the top 25 Outstanding Conservationists by Outdoor Life and was named Woman of the Year by the American Sportfishing Association in 1998.

This is the fifth year Union has hosted the daylong symposium, which will feature dozens of presentations on topics including flooding, water quality, watershed management and water rights. More than 150 participants are expected, including scientists, engineers and other professionals, and students. The conference is open to registered participants.

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.

Other symposium speakers and their topics include:

U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam: "Climate Change and the Mohawk: Challenges and Opportunities for Citizens and Stakeholders."

William A. VanDeValk, P.E., NRCS Area Engineer: "Natural Channel Restoration after Irene and Lee - a Schoharie County Opportunity."

Steve Botsford, New York State DEC Region 6 Water Engineer: "An Introduction to Water Quality Issues in the Upper Mohawk."

Frank Montecalvo, West Canada Watershed Alliance: "The Competing Interests in the Waters of the West Canada Creek."

John Vickers, P.E., Chief, Western Operations Division, New York City Environmental Protection Bureau of Water Supply, Operations Directorate: "NYCDEP Dam Safety and the Reconstruction of the Gilboa Dam."

Karin E. Limburg, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse: "River Herring: Past, Present and Future."

Mark Cornwell, Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife, SUNY Cobleskill: "Stream Ecosystem Changes in Schoharie Creek Tributaries following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee."

Amanda Stevens, Environmental Research, NYSERDA: "ClimAID: How Climate Science Helps Us Understand and Prepare for Climate Change in New York State."

Don Rodbell, Geology Department, Union College: "The Long Story: Reconstructing Flood Frequency along the Mohawk through the last 1,000 years."

The conference is organized by John Garver, geology professor, and Jaclyn Cockburn, a former Union professor now at the University of Guelph , Ontario.