Shandaken gets permit to dredge

This just in: The state Department of Environmental Conservation has granted the town of Shandaken a permit to dredge the Stony Clove Creek to alleviate flooding in Phoenicia. The Times Herald-Record reports:

The state Department of Environmental Conservation issued the permit on Wednesday. Work is expected to begin sometime in May.

The permit will allow town workers to dredge roughly 2,700 cubic feet of gravel and sediment from the Stony Clove Creek, extending roughly 690 feet upstream from the Route 214 bridge.

DEC officials have generally frowned upon dredging projects in flood-prone towns, but authorities said they approved this project because it would not pass flooding along to another community downstream. The DEC warned that a long-term solution would still be needed.

Here's some information about the permit from the DEC's website. An excerpt:

The Town proposes to remove gravel and sediment from the Stony Clove Creek [NYS Water Index # H-171-45, Class B(ts)], from a section of stream extending approximately 690 feet upstream from the NYS Route 214 bridge.  Approximately 2,700 cubic yards of material will be removed from the channel with excavation to no greater depth than the existing right channel depth.  The goal of this project is to lower the flood stage waters at the Route 214 bridge and upstream to the firehouse in order to decrease the potential for flooding within the Hamlet of Phoenicia for a flood event similar to two recent flood events that occurred in late 2010. 

Last weekend, we attended the Ashokan Watershed Conference, which addressed flooding in the Catskills region. At the conference, several experts spoke about stream-bed dredging, and why it doesn't work as a long-term solution to flooding. We'll be running a story on the issue later in the week.