Budget Helps Flood Prevention Efforts-canadarago Lake To Benefit

James L. Seward

April 16, 2008

The new state budget will help address flood control and water pollution in the upper Susquehanna River area, including Otsego, Chenango, Delaware and Herkimer Counties, Senator James L. Seward said today. The funding will help local efforts to address flooding at Canadarago Lake.

The state's environmental protection fund (EPF) includes $250,000 at the request of Senators Seward, Winner and Young to help fund various anti-flooding initiatives for the Upper Susquehanna Coalition. The coalition comprises 16 soil and water conservation districts in New York and three in Pennsylvania that encompass the headwaters of the Susquehanna River. The coalition's goal, and the purpose of the funding, is to address water quality, nonpoint source pollution, flood control, and offer research-based solutions to watershed residents and local officials. The money will be used only in New York.

"This is a common sense solution to protecting lives and the environment. We've seen flooding in the last few years because of higher than normal rainfall, and we've witnessed damage to homes, municipal infrastructure and businesses," Seward said. "By cooperating to fund innovative ideas that will address flooding and other water quality issues, we can help avoid nature's worst."

"Getting the coalition on the EPF is a huge first step forward for the residents of the southern tier," said Otsego Soil and Water Conservation District Director Scott Fickbohm. "Major flood events impact us all; June 2006 was an excellent example of that. Unfortunately it seems like the '100 year' flood event seems to be occurring every 2 to 5 years and the weather models for the next ten years predict even worsening conditions. Putting the coalition on the EPF gets funding in the hands of soil and water conservation districts; the people with ties to the local community and who have a history of putting flood repair and prevention on the ground."

The coalition has been successful in securing other state and federal grants. Coalition members include soil and water conservation districts in Allegheny, Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Herkimer, Livingston, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Otsego, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins.

The appropriation was included in budget bill S. 6805D and passed as part of the state budget.