Stewardship Awareness and Water Quality Protection Demonstration Projects
Onondaga County Soil & Water Conservation District
Basin Program Funds:
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.
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:
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.
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