The Little Chazy River Watershed
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The Little Chazy River watershed originates in the Adirondack foothills near the Altona Flat Rock jack pine barrens and flows through forests, agricultural land and small hamlets before emptying into Lake Champlain near Chazy Landing. This medium-sized watershed of approximately 142 km2 is typical of rural Champlain Valley watersheds, demonstrating a broad range of watershed issues and concerns reflected in the entire Champlain Basin. The Town of Chazy, William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute, and Plattsburgh State University were funded through the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LC991923-01 / LC-IM00-01-M / 0980-004-001)for the Little Chazy River Watershed Partnership to strengthen institutional ties and raise public awareness in the watershed. Information regarding the Watershed Inventory, Sludge Treatment Reed Bed Management Plan, and GIS database, which were prepared as part of this project, is available on compact disc from the Lake Champlain Basin Program, P.O. Box 204, 54 West Shore Road, Grand Isle, Vermont, 05458. Summary information and graphics are available on these web pages.
A important part of our effort was to assemble data about the watershed. The meteorological and hydrological data are derived from the Northeast Regional Climate Center weather station at Miner Institute, the U.S. Geological Survey stream gaging station near Chazy, and data collected by Plattsburgh State University students and faculty. There has been a long-standing partnership between Miner Institute, Chazy, NY and Plattsburgh State University, Plattsburgh, NY to foster education and research within the region. This cooperative effort has resulted in extensive long-term monitoring at the Ecosystem Studies Field Laboratory at the Altona Flat Rock Jack Pine Barrens. Both classroom exercises and research projects dealing with watershed issues in the Little Chazy River watershed have helped Plattsburgh State undergraduates gain skills and understanding in analyzing watershed issues.
As a result of the September 11, 2001 tragedy, many Geographic Information System (GIS) datasets that were available for download on the Internet were either restricted or removed. The New York State GIS Clearinghouse (http://nysgis.state.ny.us/datacoop.htm) was non-operational for a time following the tragedy and has gradually restored many digital datasets. NYS Department of Transportation (DOT), a major GIS data contributor, has been re-examining all of their on-line data in light of new national security concerns. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) disseminated some of their data through the CUGIR site (Cornell University Geospatial Data Information Repository at the Mann Library, http://cugir.mannlib.cornell.edu/) and some of these data still have not been restored. Consequently, some data are still not available for the watershed, such as the 1:24000 georeferenced tiff images of topographic maps. Other data, such as the DOT roads and other base map data can be used but not redistributed. We shall continue to update these web sites as new data become available.
In addition to the project sponsors contained in the "Acknowledgements" web site, the authors would like to thank Shawnna Stroke, Kerrie Hamilton, Trevis Gigliotti, Aaron Bogucki and Jenifer Martin, Plattsburgh State University students, for their hard work. Aaron prepared several data layers that became the starting points for this project. Trevis prepared a detailed land cover layer and Kerrie digitized and attributed the surficial geology map. Jenifer laid the groundwork for the watershed inventory and Shawnna spent many hours compiling data layers for the watershed inventory.
Steve Kramer, Miner Institute, helped supervise the watershed inventory and has been a long-time supporter of research and education in the watershed. Dr. Robert Fuller, Plattsburgh State University, was the projectís quality control officer and made innumerable good suggestions. Joe Racette, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 5 unstintingly shared his expertise and support to help make this project a success.
Peter Allen was a tremendous help on our photo tour of the watershed field trip. His good nature and excitement about living in the watershed added greatly to our photo collection.
A very special thanks is extended to Mr. George Deno, Town Supervisor of Chazy and Ms. Rhonda Daley, Chairperson, Water and Sewer Committee. It is their untiring dedication, commitment, and foresight that made the joint waste water and drinking water projects in the hamlet of Chazy a reality.
Thanks to you all. This was a good team effort!
David A. Franzi
for Earth &
Little Chazy River
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