Sandy Creeks Ecosystem-based Management Demonstration Area NYOGLECC Meeting January 11, 2008 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Sandy Creeks Ecosystem-based Management Demonstration Area NYOGLECC Meeting January 11, 2008. John Bartow, NYS Tug Hill Commission. Gretchen Wainwright, The Nature Conservancy. Talcott Falls. Lessons Learned. Geographic context On-the-ground projects and planning should happen concurrently

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Sandy Creeks Ecosystem-based Management Demonstration Area NYOGLECC Meeting January 11, 2008

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Sandy creeks ecosystem based management demonstration area nyoglecc meeting january 11 2008

Sandy Creeks Ecosystem-based Management Demonstration AreaNYOGLECC Meeting January 11, 2008

John Bartow, NYS Tug Hill Commission

Gretchen Wainwright, The Nature Conservancy

Talcott Falls

Lessons learned

Lessons Learned

  • Geographic context

  • On-the-ground projects and planning should happen concurrently

  • Keep the local stakeholders involved along the way

  • Need good science and planning

Sandy creeks ebm demo

Geographic Context: Great Lakes Basin


Sandy creeks ebm demo

Geographic Context: Lake Ontario Sub-basin

Geographic context eastern lake ontario watershed

Geographic Context: Eastern Lake Ontario watershed

The key is paying attention to appropriateness of scale and level of detail in planning and projects.

Community involvement focus groups

Community Involvement/Focus Groups

  • EcoLogic, LLC hired to solicit and document stakeholder input

  • Initial stakeholder meeting with general audience

  • Seven focus group meetings and follow-up discussions

  • Final report completed November 2007

  • Report findings will be integrated into the EBM Strategy

Public outreach education

Public Outreach & Education

  • Articles in Watertown Daily Times

  • TNC Central & Western NY Chapter newsletters; TNC Nature New York magazine

  • Sandy Creeks EBM Newsletter from Tug Hill Commission

  • Technical assistance for towns applying for grants and obtaining State Legislative funds

  • Funded a Dune Steward in Summer 2006

  • Tug Hill Commission participation in Town/Village meetings

Quotes from stakeholders

Quotes from Stakeholders


  • “Start with education about the positive benefits of actions; we are regulated to death already.”

  • “The rural quality of life is what residents cherish and tourists seek. Let’s not lose that.”

  • “The EBM approach can only be truly successful if the human element is considered and remembered ... while planning for rare communities of plants and animals and significant areas of scenic quality, we need to not forget that people live and raise their families here… Funding must follow planning.”

Quotes from stakeholders1

Quotes from Stakeholders


  • ““The North Country is one of the best-kept secrets in the country….Pressures that were only on the lake or the river are moving inland onto Tug Hill.”

  • “It’s going to be a challenge. We have a diversity of people who may not agree. Some are not from here.”

  • “Even people in agencies don’t know what ecosystem-based management is.”

  • “Over the years acronyms and programs come and go. I hope ecosystem-based management is not just another.”

Planning ebm strategy development

Planning: EBM Strategy Development

  • Consultant (Biohabitats, Inc.) hired to develop a strategy for developing an EBM plan

  • Assessed availability of ecological and socio-economic data: different boundaries, scales, bases for data

  • Identified information needs in watershed

  • Baseline conditions report will document current state, data gaps, how to fill

  • EBM Strategy document will recommend how to develop an EBM plan for Sandy Creeks

  • Planning process will be based on TNC’s Conservation Action Planning process and will capture broad ecological assets as well as ecosystem targets

Implementation projects to date

Implementation Projects To Date

  • Forest headwater BMP and portable bridge building workshops

  • Swallow-wort chemical control at Stony Point

  • Purple loosestrife biological control along dunes and wetlands

  • Monitor Mills Dam - Environmental Impact Assessment for dam removal

  • Agricultural Riparian Corridor Restoration

Invasive species

Galarucella beetles

Invasive Species

Swallow-wort, Summer 2006: 100 acres sprayed, 25 landowners engaged and educated

Purple Loosestrife Biological Control

45,000 beetles released at 5 sites in 2006

Evaluation of results underway

Logger outreach and education october 2006

Logger Outreach and EducationOctober 2006

Sandy creeks ebm demo

Environmental Assessment of installation of fish passage was completed. Passage can not be added at this time due to VHS (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia) in Lake Ontario

Monitor Mills Dam

Future work

Future Work


  • Continued swallow-wort spraying to contain its spread

  • Mapping of invasive species in dune/wetland complex

  • Logger education about invasive species

  • Kiosks at the north and south ends of the dune/wetland area with several supporting panels in-between

  • Additional agricultural riparian buffer restoration

  • Eliminate ATV use in Inman Gulf


  • Compilation and synthesis of past planning activities in the watershed

  • Natural Heritage inventory

  • USGS Study of the Tug Hill Aquifer

  • Initial meeting with stakeholder core team

  • Continuing outreach, education, community involvement

    After Nov 2008: develop complete EBM plan

Approaches employed

Approaches Employed

  • Utilize local and knowledgeable partners

  • Keep stakeholders informed

  • Build on existing knowledge and previous work

  • Contract with local entities where possible

  • Work closely with existing organizations that share your goals (i.e. SLELO)

  • Simultaneous planning and implementation may be necessary

Project partners

Project Partners

  • The Nature Conservancy, Central and Western NY Chapter

  • NYS Tug Hill Commission

  • NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

  • NYS Department of State

  • Subcontractors:

    • Biohabitats, Inc. with Camoin Associates

    • EcoLogic, LLC

    • Jefferson County Soil & Water Conservation District

    • Cooper Environmental

    • Cornell University



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