Community Perspectives on the Wappinger Creek Watershed


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This is a presentation given at a stakeholder meeting to discuss community views of watershed management in the Wappinger Creek Watershed in the Hudson Valley, New York, May 2010.

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  • Shorna will edit
  • So… we conducted a survey
  • Perceptions may be influences by a number of factors: experiences with the resource for example, though recreation, information seeking, and length of residency. People may not react without a stimulus.
  • I can’t fix the color on this one
  • Perceptions for which the mean response for municipal officials and landowners was significantly different. This is only 8 of 16 problems we asked about. Municipal officials consistently reported higher perceived severity and the mean response for landowners was under 3.0 for every problem. The most severe problems as perceived by landowners were garbage/litter in and around water bodies and road salt running off into water bodies
  • Problems for which the frequency of landowner “don’t know” response was over 40% and corresponding “don’t know” response for municipal officials
  • Can’t see to be able to move this chart
  • 16 itemsRange from 0-64
  • Negative consequences-increased taxes-infringing lawsMultiple benefits-natural beauty-recreational value-prevent rise in water treatment costs-healthy habitat-clean water-increase property values-reduce flooding
  • “To what extent do you agree that… it is the responsibility of residents/ the municipality/ should be shared by municipal officials and residents to protect water resources”. This graph shows that landowners and municipal officials do not necessarily agree who is responsible for water resource protection.
  • Precipitation Effects-increased rain and snow-increased intensity of precipitationIn-Stream Effects-debris causing water to back up-undersized culverts and bridges-lack of flood control structuresDevelopment/Anthropogenic-increase impervious surface-stormwater directed off the landvia storm drains (instead of infiltrating)-development of building and roads in floodplains-sediment deposition changing shape and dimensions of channels-increased velocity due to deepening and straightening of channels-loss of natural flood storage areas (wetlands)-
  • Low awareness about problems and local laws
  • The largest reported barrier to behavior adoption was lack of knowledge on how to perform the activity. Behaviors aimed at capturing rain water and storm water runoff had the highest awareness without adoption. Such scenarios provide an opportunity for education to overcome barriers. For example, some respondents expressed concerns about rain barrels attracting mosquitoes which means education about mosquito netting may remove this barrier
  • Landowners expressed that they would like policy that restricts development in floodplains and requires new development to take pressures on water systems into consideration
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