Stewardship Awareness and Water Quality Protection Demonstration Projects
Onondaga County, NY

Grantee: Onondaga County Soil & Water Conservation District
Basin Program Funds: $11,730
Non-federal Funds: $4,980
Project Duration: 06/1996 - 06/1997
Status: complete

Problem Statement
Based on the 1995 Needs Assessment conducted by the Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) a set of priority needs, concerns, and problems within the Chittenango basin were identified. Enhancing and expanding educational programs and demonstration projects were identified as the areas that needed the most attention.

Streambank stabilization.

Under a 1995 Great Lakes Basin Program grant, the Onondaga County SWCD conducted a Needs Assessment consisting of surveys and focus group meetings. The Needs Assessment focused on three audiences: science teachers, planning board members, and farmers. This project has been developed out of the necessity to respond to the Needs Assessment by providing educational programs and materials and implementing demonstration projects. The goal of this project is to improve and protect the water quality within the Chittenango basin watershed by providing a two-phase educational program: stewardship awareness and water quality protection demonstration projects.

Phase I of this program focused on the development and dissemination of educational materials on watersheds, nonpoint source pollution, agricultural best management practices (BMPs), and erosion and sediment control techniques to teachers, planning board members and the farming community. Phase II of this program consisted of completing a streambank erosion inventory and implementing two demonstration projects that illustrated and encouraged effective and efficient use of erosion and sediment control measures.

The key tasks implemented by this grant focused on three audiences: science teachers, planning boards, and farmers. The SWCD office has become a focal point for educational materials on watersheds, nonpoint source pollution, BMPs, and erosion and sedimentation control measures.

Information was disseminated to all three audiences as follows:

Science Teachers
The SWCD compiled educational information and material relating to nonpoint source pollution, soil erosion, water quality, and rural and urban BMPs into a resource booklet and made it available to science teachers. An educational watershed model was made available to teachers as well as planning boards and community groups. The model was demonstrated at the Water Week Fair, and a presentation on the model was given at a science teacher fair with 75 attending teachers.

Planning Boards
Fact sheets and pamphlets on water quality, nonpoint source pollution, soil erosion and sedimentation were distributed. Copies of the New York State Guidelines for Urban Erosion and Sediment Control were purchased and provided to local planning boards. In addition, a workshop on soil erosion control and stormwater management was held for planning board members.

Through newsletter and other material, information about water quality BMPs was disseminated to area farmers. As a result of the Great Lakes Basin Program project, the SWCD was able to secure a New York State Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement & Control Grant of $64,000 to install a manure storage structure on a high priority farm within the watershed.

The streambank stabilization demonstration project was also completed. First, project personnel conducted a streambank erosion study and prioritized sites. A severely eroded site on Butternut Creek in the town of Lafayette, New York was chosen as a demonstration site. A combination of rock rip-rap and willow mattressing was installed to stabilize a sharply curved eroded bank. The total length of the stabilization was 134-feet, and the willows were used to secure the bank to a height of 20-feet.

Many people were reached through workshops, newsletters and the science teacher fair. Additionally, the streambank stabilization demonstration site will save an estimated 9.24 tons of soil annually. This demonstration site will be promoted through newsletter articles and conservation tours.

Contact: Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District, (315) 677-3851


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