2021 Conference

Welcome to the 2021 Black River Watershed (virtual) Conference
Watershed Webinar Wednesdays

All webinars will be free on zoom and will be recorded to our YouTube page.
Preregistration is required.
Click here for a Conference Flyer.

Organized by the NYS Tug Hill Commission, the Lewis,
Jefferson, Hamilton, Oneida and Herkimer County Soil
and Water Conservation Districts and NYS Department of
Environmental Conservation Region 6. 


Black River Trail Extension and Regional Bicycle/Pedestrian Connectivity and The OUTSTEPS.org Research Network: A Community Platform for Stakeholders and Universities in the Lower Great Lakes

Wednesday May 12, 2021 at 3:00 pm

The Watertown-Jefferson County Area Transportation Council (WJCTC) is exploring various alternatives for extending the Black River Trail to Fort Drum as well as identifying gaps in the regional network for active transportation modes. This is an interactive presentation as the WJCTC is actively seeking public input as part of the planning process. Come see how this project and OUTSTEPS.org, a regional research network of eight founding universities, a diverse group of urban and rural stakeholder and indigenous rights-holder groups, can work together to support transformative and collaborative science to address regional sustainability and community resilience challenges in the Lower Great Lakes basins, including Lake Erie and Ontario.

Recording of Webinar


Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in a Changing Climate:  Changing Forests and Identification and Management of HWA
Wednesday May 19, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Dr. Lindsey Rustad will give us an overview of her 30 plus years of research in the White Mountains of New Hampshire about how climate is altering the composition of our northeastern forests from a global perspective to local impacts.  Ms. Marschner will discuss eastern hemlock, its role in New York ecosystems, hemlock woolly adelgid identification and management, and implications of climate change on this aggressive forest pest.

Recording of Webinar


Ice and Snow Best Practices: Communication and Consensus
Wednesday May 26, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Ice and snow removal must balance cost, public safety and environmental considerations. Having a clear consensus on the expected level of service allows everyone a basis to communicate. Tim Hunt, Highway Superintendent at the Lewis County Highway Department, has extensive experience in local government and has served in various leadership roles throughout New York State. He has presented at the Cornell local roads programs highway school on procurement issues and currently teaches a budgeting class for Cornell local roads entitled “Dollars and Sense of Municipal budgeting.” Tim brings a diverse and balanced approach to highway management issues.

Recording of Webinar


Weather Resilience:  Tips for Improving Your Community’s Ability to Respond to Severe Weather
Wednesday June 2, 2021 at 3:00 pm

In the northeast, extreme weather events such as floods, heat waves, changing precipitation patterns and storms are increasing in frequency and severity. The ability of local communities to cope with the immediate impact and recover from the aftermath is critical to the continued well-being of the affected community. In this session, Mary Austerman, New York Sea Grant and Khristopher Dodson, Environmental Finance Center, will look at tools communities can use to be better adapted to these conditions, funding programs to support related planning processes and project implementation, and hear about other community experiences that can be replicated in the Black River Watershed and beyond. Participants will learn to access and use tools and become more familiar with funding programs to support projects for local priorities related to extreme weather events as well as understand how other communities have made themselves more resilient to future events.

Recording of Webinar and PDF of Presentation


SWCD Municipal Assistance Programming – Presentation and Panel Discussion
Wednesday June 9, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Brian Steinmuller, Assistant Director of the NYS Soil and Water Conservation Committee (SWCC) will discuss County SWCD municipal assistance programs including stormwater pollution prevention, green infrastructure, North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAAC), stream corridor and floodplain management, forestry management and more.  Brian will also discuss how SWCDs and municipalities can cooperate and coordinate programs through Intermunicipal Agreements (IMAs).

Recording of Webinar and PDF of Presentation


Hamilton and Herkimer County Conservation Initiatives in the Black River Watershed
Wednesday June 16, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Jaime Parslow and Caitlin Stewart, Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, will present an overview of green the infrastructure project in Inlet’s Arrowhead Park and an update to the county’s lake monitoring project. Also, Katherine Whitcomb and Robert Tilbe of the Herkimer County Soil and Water Conservation District will present Streambank Stabilization – Stake Your Bankan overview of a partnered project with the Herkimer County BOCES Conservation Class, Herkimer County Highway Department, and the Herkimer County Soil & Water Conservation District. This project utilizes streamco willow stakes as part of a larger streambank stabilization project. 

Recording of Webinar, Hamilton County Lake Monitoring Page and Story Maps and PDF of Willow Stake Planting Guide