Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs Celebrates Arbor Day; Flood Resilience Handbook Now Available

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Hudson RiverNet
News from the Hudson River Estuary Program

In This Issue:

  • Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs Celebrates Arbor Day and Pots Up Bare-Root Seedlings 
  • Flood Resilience Handbook for Public Access Sites Along the Hudson River

Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs Pots-Up for Spring Planting Season

A woman wearing a mask sits amidst soil and pots holding up a bare-root seedling.Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs (tributaries) is celebrating trees and kicking-off the spring planting season by potting-up 3,725 native bare-root seedlings from the Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery. Twenty DEC staff and Student Conservation Association members will pot-up the bare-roots over the course of four days between April 27th and Arbor Day, Friday April 30th. Participants will follow strict COVID-19 safety protocols including health screenings, social distancing, and wearing masks.

This spring will be one of the largest planting seasons for Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs in nearly a decade. Staff and local volunteers will help plant more than 3,000 native trees and shrubs at 20 sites in nine counties this spring. One notable planting event will be at Shatford Municipal park in Columbia County. Through a collaboration with the Town of New Lebanon’s Conservation Advisory Council, volunteers will plant 520 trees and shrubs to create a new, 600-foot long, streamside forest along the Wyomanock Creek tributary. Trees planted along streams protect water quality, fish, and wildlife and also reduce erosion and flooding. Trees also absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and are a powerful tool in the fight against climate change. 

Volunteers are welcome to join in the planting efforts. A list of public planting projects, volunteer opportunities, and contact information is available on DEC’s website. Volunteer planters are coordinated by local project managers at each site. 

Arbor Day is a nationally celebrated observance held on the last Friday of April each year. Originally established in 1872 to encourage farmers and homesteaders to plant trees for shade, fuel, and beauty in open areas, today Arbor Day is an opportunity to celebrate the vital role of trees in our lives.

Two women wearing masks plant trees by a stream.

Flood Resilience Handbook for Hudson River Public Access Sites

More than 100 public access sites, including parks, preserves, boat launches, and fishing piers along the shores of the tidal Hudson provide outstanding recreational, scenic, and economic value to the Hudson Valley. However, climate models project the estuary’s water-levels may rise several feet by the end of this century, threatening the condition and viability of many of these shoreline facilities. Sea-level has risen six inches in the last 50 years, and today, low-lying sites regularly experience flooding during exceptionally high tides or periods of intense rainfall. Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, Superstorm Sandy, and seasonal nor’easters destroyed infrastructure, caused erosion, and damaged recreational resources, and more frequent and intense storms are predicted to occur in the future.

Image of cover of Flood Resilience Handbook for Public Access Sites Along the Hudson RiverThe Flood Resilience Handbook for Public Access Sites Along the Hudson River was developed to assist owners and site managers of public river access sites to adapt their facilities to existing and predicted flooding. By planning and implementing resilience strategies and public outreach plans, site managers can address vulnerabilities and continue to provide access under changing conditions.

The handbook provides guidelines to begin planning for resilience, including strategies to reduce damage, costs, and other consequences associated with flooding and the effects of climate change. While many aspects of this handbook are relevant to river access sites elsewhere, the geographic focus is on the Hudson River estuary and its tidal tributaries in the 10 counties of the Hudson Valley: Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Ulster, and Westchester. Read the handbook on DEC's website. The Flood Resilience Handbook was produced by WSP with funding from NEIWPCC in partnership with DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program.