What is the NY Master Watershed Steward Program?
Watershed stewardship is about caring for the waters of New York and working to protect, restore, and enhance watersheds. The NY Master Watershed Steward (MWS) program empowers watershed professionals and volunteers to be leaders in their communities and to promote healthy watersheds through increased awareness, understanding, and knowledge about the function of watersheds, potential impairments, and watershed protection strategies. Master Watershed Stewards can help reduce the negative impacts of land-use practices and pollutants while planning effectively for the future of New York State’s watersheds. The purpose of the MWS program is to provide you with opportunities to learn and put to use skills and knowledge to support watershed management in your community through the challenging process of developing and implementing a watershed plan.
Who should become a NY Master Watershed Steward?
You! The program is designed for anyone with a willingness to learn about and protect watersheds in their community. We welcomewatershed coordinators, citizen volunteers, local government officials, engineers, planners, conservation agency staff, stormwater managers, members of land trusts or community environmental organizations, drainage boards, town boards, or others that influence water management.
Why is there a need for Master Watershed Stewards?
New York has an abundance of rivers, streams, lakes and coastal waters and there is a continual need to manage and protect these valuable resources. These waters serve as the source for recreation, fishing, tourism, agriculture and manufacturing. However, a number of these rivers, lakes, streams, and coastal waters are impaired or have threats that impact the current designated use of these water bodies. These waters face a variety of threats introduced by human uses including pollution from urban runoff, municipal wastewater, agricultural runoff, streambank erosion, inadequate on-site septic treatment, and much more. These threats are significant because approximately 95% of New Yorkers receive their drinking water from public water supplies.
Through this program, we hope to strengthen watershed support networks in New York, and increase the capacity of communities to address watershed management issues. Read more about the program at the Web site:www.NYWatershedSteward.org
Last updated April 3, 2015