State Study of Mohawk River Ice Jams Announced

The study will analyze storm and ice-jam flood mitigation needs in high-risk areas, including Schenectady, N.Y., which experienced ice-jam flooding in February 2018. The study will include recommendations to mitigate future hazards on the Mohawk River and other waterbodies across New York state.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will undertake a $500,000 study of flooding and ice jams on the Mohawk River, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced March 23. DEC also has released a draft "whole river" five-year action agenda to improve water quality and the resiliency of the Mohawk River watershed

The study will analyze storm and ice-jam flood mitigation needs in high-risk areas, including Schenectady, N.Y., which experienced ice-jam flooding in February 2018. The study will include recommendations to mitigate future hazards on the Mohawk River and other waterbodies across New York state.

"As severe weather becomes the new normal, it is critical that all levels of government coordinate effectively and advance projects that enhance the resiliency of our infrastructure and support our aggressive efforts to improve water quality," Cuomo said. "This study, in addition to the state's continuing work in the Mohawk River Basin, will provide us with the science we need to inform recommendations to mitigate future flooding events and target our investments to protect the communities, ecology, and businesses of the region."

The study will guide the direction of the state's flood response efforts, hazard mitigation plans, flood mitigation projects, and include the evaluation of information about recent and historic flooding events; identification of critical areas subject to flood risk and ice-jam occurrence; and a comprehensive hydraulic assessment and development of flood and ice-jam hazard mitigation alternatives for each high-risk area within the main-stem Mohawk River corridor. DEC's Mohawk River Basin Program will be responsible for completing the study in cooperation with expert consultants.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said the study and the action agenda "will help advance critical projects to preserve and protect the health of the river and its watershed. Governor Cuomo has made significant investments to safeguard water quality, improve community resiliency, enhance aquatic habitat, and create new and expanded recreation access for people of all abilities. By collaborating with partners from all sectors, the draft Mohawk River Basin Action Agenda will build on past efforts and investments to bolster restoration of this watershed to benefit the communities of the Mohawk Valley."

The draft action agenda will be available for public review and comment through May 18, 2018, with public meetings set on April 17 in Utica and April 24 in Cohoes, N.Y.

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