At a Glance
A watershed management plan helps an urbanized New York county better understand its water quality and flood priorities and identify habitat improvement opportunities.
The Hutchinson River flows through Westchester County and the Bronx on its way to the East River and the Long Island Sound. Historically, it has served as a freshwater source for a plethora of wildlife habitats and ecosystems, and as a refuge for residents of this densely urban region. Over time, however, its environmental quality has degraded as the watershed became increasingly threatened by pollution from aging infrastructure, development, and neglect.
Working with Save the Sound and the Westchester County Department of Planning, Biohabitats developed a watershed management plan focused on water quality improvements while also establishing an understanding of the flood and resilience priorities within the Westchester County portion of the watershed.
Biohabitats began by conducting a baseline watershed assessment involving desktop analysis, pollutant load modeling focusing on non-point source pollution associated with stormwater runoff, a comparative sub-watershed analysis, and field visits to targeted locations. After sharing preliminary findings with the clients and stakeholders, and incorporating their feedback, Biohabitats then collaborated with the County and Save the Sound to develop watershed goals. Using this information Biohabitats is generating an ArcGIS inventory of watershed-wide improvement opportunities to achieve those goals and preparing concept designs for several project priority sites.
The final Watershed Management Plan, which will include financial and technical resources, an implementation schedule, monitoring components, and a summary of stakeholder engagement, will provide the foundation for further discussion and potential implementation of future watershed improvement efforts.