Press Release: Hutchinson River Watershed Plan Open for Community Input 

Public information session to be held February 7  

Part one of the Hutchinson River Watershed Plan, a framework intended to identify contributing sources of pollution and methods for addressing them in order to protect and improve the water quality of the Hutchinson River, is now open for public comment.    

A draft plan for the Westchester County portion of the Watershed, developed over the last 18 months by Save the Sound and Westchester County Soil &Water Conservation District with the help of the consultancy Biohabitats and local stakeholders, is ready for public feedback regarding alignment with community members’ priorities and how they would like to be involved in the implementation of the plan.  

“Community participation has driven the planning process,” says Nicole Davis, watersheds project manager at Save the Sound. “We kicked off the watershed plan with a public meeting where participants were asked a series of questions about the Hutchinson River Watershed: what is important to them, what they would like to see changed or stay the same, and how they would like to see those changes happen. This initial conversation was used to develop the goals for the watershed plan.”  

Community members have been involved in public meetings and in stream walks on the Hutchinson River, where they walked the river in waders, directly observing conditions on the river and voicing their desired environmental improvements. On these stream walks they observed pollution and water quality issues, riverbank erosion, and lack of river accessibility, all of which are addressed in the plan.  

Rivers cross political borders and watersheds often spread across numerous towns and counties. The Hutchinson River Watershed planning process allows groups from throughout the affected area to come together to discuss what matters most to them.   

“Collaboration across jurisdictions helps us prioritize what is best for the health of the river and develop ideas on how these things can be strategically implemented throughout the watershed,” says Davis. 

The Hutchinson River Watershed Plan for Westchester County will be available for Public Review and Comment until February 16. Please provide all comments to using the template on our website.   

A virtual information session will be held on Wednesday, February 7, from 6 to 8:00 p.m., during which attendees can learn more about the watershed plan and the recommendations made within it and have an opportunity to provide comments and discuss what resonates with them in the plan and the watershed. 

Interested parties can sign up here.  

This year, Save the Sound will begin part two of the plan, which concerns the portion of the Hutchinson River Watershed in the Bronx. Once complete, the plan will address the entirety of the watershed, from its headwaters in Scarsdale to where the river meets Eastchester Bay before entering Long Island Sound.  

Part one of the Hutchinson Watershed Plan is being performed in partnership with Westchester County Soil & Water Conservation District housed within the Westchester County Planning Department and is funded in part by the Long Island Sound Study and the Owens & Minor Foundation. Part two of the plan is funded by the State of New York facilitated by Assembly Member Michael Benedetto (AD-82).    

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