Watershed project funded

The Town of Shelter Island, jointly with the Village of DeringHarbor, will receive a $36,487 grant from the State of New York todevelop a Watershed Management Plan.

The state grant will cover half the estimated cost of a projectthat will “satisfy many of our MS4 requirements and help theenvironment, according to Town Attorney Laury Dowd. A local matchof $36,488 will be provided by the Town of Shelter Island.

According to the Department of State, which will award the 50/50grant, the Watershed Management Plan “will generate recommendedmanagement actions and strategies to address non-point-sourcepollution and improve water quality of inland waterways and theIsland’s surrounding bays and harbors. Non-point-source waterpollution is from diffuse rather than particular sources.

The town watershed plan is one of 90 projects state-widereceiving a total of $23.8 million in state EnvironmentalProtection Funds from the Local Waterfront RevitalizationProgram.

Ms. Dowd described the scope of the plan as “a work in progress,but said that the town has already received competitive proposalsfrom environmental engineers to begin work on the plan. “So we areready to go when we get the money, but she added that a backlog forreceiving actual grant moneys from the state may mean a wait ofover a year.

The management plan envisioned by the town will be divided intotasks.

Task 1. Scoping Meeting: Town and villagerepresentatives will meet with project engineers to review contractrequirements, share information and clarify roles andresponsibilities of all parties. The grant proposal lists Nelson,Pope & Voorhis, Engineers & Surveyors as the proposedcontract engineer; the firm will prepare maps and materials fordiscussion to complete this task.

Task 2. Draft Characterization Component: Theengineers will describe and map the watershed for review andcomment by the town and village.

Task 3. Watershed Advisory Committee Meetings:A Watershed Advisory Committee will be established to gather agreater understanding of the planning process and provide insightfor planning recommendations.

Task 4. Draft Corrective Component: Areasneeding stormwater and habitat restoration improvement projectswill be identified and prioritized and the projects will bedesigned, including municipal non-point-source pollutioncontrols.

Task 5. Education/Public Awareness: Thecontract engineer will develop an educational componenthighlighting the plan recommendations and suggesting a formaleducational/teaching guide for local residents.

Task 6. Recommended Management Actions: Developan implementation strategy to perform the routine actions andpriority capital projects to control and prevent further waterquality degradation, and source controls to reduce pollutant loadsto storm water run-off.

Task 7. Public Meeting: A revised plan will goto a public meeting to solicit input regarding the completeness andaccuracy of the draft plan, any additional watershed issues,considerations, opportunities and public concerns.

Task 8. Final Plan: The contract engineer willprepare and submit a draft, final plan for the town and village toconsider for adoption.