Franklin-St. Lawrence Soil Protection and Stabilization Program
Franklin and St. Lawrence Counties, NY

Grantee: Franklin County Soil & Water Conservation District
Basin Program Funds: $28,195
Non-federal Funds: $9,764
Project Duration: 07/2002 - 07/2003
Status: complete

Problem Statement
The counties in northern New York State along the St. Lawrence River watershed (including Franklin and St. Lawrence counties), have very limited growing and construction seasons due to the harsh climate and weather, often less than 6 months. The narrow window of opportunity to accomplish ground-disturbing projects can also mean an extremely limited time to re-establish ground cover. The reduction of soil erosion on many projects depends on fast and efficient application of ground cover.

The purchase of a hydroseeder, to be shared between Franklin and St. Lawrence counties, would greatly strengthen and enhance existing erosion control programs and our ability to provide technical assistance in erosion, sedimentation, and nonpoint source pollution control in our region. This equipment is not currently available in either county or any adjoining areas. There are several New York State priority water bodies in the area, including the Oswegatchie River, which was just added to the Great Lakes Basin Programís priority list. We are also working with local farms on riparian buffers. We also expect a tremendous increase in the need for erosion control efforts when the new USEPA Storm Water Regulations go into effect by next year, which will require that disturbed areas over one acre in size be stabilized.

Other organizations in St. Lawrence County have indicated an interest in the proposed hydroseeder equipment. They include the county and local city highway departments, which would make use of the equipment for ditching and bridge projects; the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, for Wetland Reserve Program project sites; and the local Forest Practice Board, for skid trails and log landings.

The Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District Staff will oversee the project budget, purchase of the proposed equipment (hydroseeder), training on and maintenance of the equipment, scheduling equipment use, and storage. The proposed use of the hydroseeder, as time and availability permit, will extend to the following organizations:

  • Franklin and St. Lawrence county conservation districts
  • Franklin and St. Lawrence county water quality coordinating committees
  • USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service of Franklin and St. Lawrence counties
  • The Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation Environmental Division
  • Highway departments of St. Lawrence and Franklin counties
  • The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • The Adirondack Park Agency
The project will promote awareness of the effectiveness and importance of utilizing a swift method for soil retention on ground-disturbing projects. This will be done by cooperating with regional organizations and making the proposed equipment available throughout the 2.5 million acres of St. Lawrence River watershed. Work with the hydroseeder will include, but will not be limited to, improvement of ground stabilization times associated with construction on grassed waterways, barnyard grassed filtration areas, wetlands, mine reclamation areas, riparian buffer areas, and highway ditching and grading projects.

The following seeding projects have been completed in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties:

  1. Road ditching project in the town of Burke. Seeded two miles of road ditching on CR 29. St. Lawrence tributaries.
  2. Road shoulder and ditching project in town of Santa Clara. Approximately eight miles of shoulder clearing and ditching from north of the hamlet of St. Regis Falls to Santa Clara. St. Regis River watershed.
  3. Construction area seeding at Paul Smithís College. St. Regis River watershed.
  4. Construction area hillside seeding (two acres) in the town of Malone. Salmon River watershed.
  5. Town of Hammond mine reclamation. The Hammond Highway Department utilized the hydroseeder for re-seeding the 5+ acre mine. The nearly 100-foot face of the mine and total area was seeded with the equipment. Black Lake watershed.
The Franklin County Water Quality Coordinating Committee sponsored an information workshop in June 2003 on Phase II construction permits and erosion and sediment control practices. A total of 18 participants attended from throughout the county. The majority of attendees were highway supervisors, along with code enforcement and municipal officials. The final segment of the workshop was a demonstration of the uses and operation of the Franklin-St. Lawrence Soil Protection and Stabilization Program hydroseeding equipment.

The equipment continues to be a new concept for many people in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties, but the recognition of the tangible uses for it increases daily.

Contact: Mr. Andrew Snell, 518-483-4061


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