Eels Arrive in Hudson Tributary Streams; Webinar on Model Local Laws April 20

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Delivers - Information to keep you connected and informed from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Share or view as a web page || Update preferences or unsubscribe

Hudson RiverNet
News from the Hudson River Estuary Program

In This Issue:

  • Eels Arrive in Hudson River Tributary Streams
  • Model Local Laws to Increase Resilience Webinar April 20

Eels Arrive in Hudson River Tributary Streams

All along the Hudson River Estuary, DEC, teachers, students, and A young woman wearing a mask stands in waders in a stream looking into a large cone-shaped net.partner environmental organizations are participating in the Hudson River Eel Project to monitor migrating juvenile American eels (Anguilla rostrata). American eels have one of the most unusual life cycles of any fish. They are hatched in the Sargasso Sea north of Puerto Rico, and every spring they arrive in estuaries like the Hudson River as translucent, two-inch long "glass eels."

This spring, the eels will be monitored at 10 stream sites along the Hudson River from New York Harbor to the Capital District. Following strict COVID-19 safety protocols to prevent community spread of the coronavirus, limited groups of trained volunteers and students will don waders and venture into tributary streams to check 10-foot cone-shaped nets ("fyke nets") specifically designed to catch this small life-stage of the eel. The eels are gently counted from the net and placed in a bucket of stream water before being released. Most of the eels are released above dams, waterfalls, and other barriers to migration so that they have better access to habitat. Eels will live in freshwater rivers and streams for up to 30 years before returning to the sea to spawn.

A small fish net with tiny worm-like eels is held over a bucket of stream water.Now in its 14th year, the Hudson River Eel Project was initiated by the Hudson River Estuary Program and Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve to gather data for multi-state management plans for eel conservation. Eel collection takes place at most sites daily from early-April through mid-May. Since the project began, volunteers have caught, counted, and released over one million juvenile eels into upstream habitat. For more information on the project, visit DEC’s website  or email

Check out this week's Virtual River website for more eel videos and lesson plans. 

Watch a video about the eel project. 

Model Local Laws to Increase Resilience Webinar April 20

New York’s Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA) became law in 2014 and requires state agencies to assess potential future climate risks related to sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding when making certain permitting, funding, and regulatory decisions. The 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act amended CRRA to expand the list of climate hazards to be considered and the permit programs covered by the law. CRRA also tasked the Department of State, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Conservation, with developing model local laws that include consideration of these future climate risks. This webinar, to be presented Tuesday, April 20, 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m., will introduce CRRA and present the Model Local Laws to Increase Resilience, published in 2019. 
Register for the webinar now.

The Model Local Laws can assist municipalities in making changes necessary for adaptation to climate change, including flooding, stream bank erosion, storm surge and sea-level rise. The webinar will discuss how the Model Local Laws were developed, how to use the resource document, and give examples of model laws that emphasize use of green infrastructure, incorporate natural and nature-based measures, and/or preserve natural features. Presenters include Mark Lowery, assistant director, DEC Office of Climate Change; and Barbara Kendall, coastal resources specialist, DOS Office of Planning, Development and Community Infrastructure. 

A house is surrounded by water during a flood.