flooded street

Flood Management: New Strategies in a Changing Climate

Science & Management Forum
Hosted: May 4, 2013

The forum provides on-the-ground examples of flood resilience strategies that can help Hudson Valley communities minimize risks while conserving financial resources.

Extreme weather is becoming more common in our region. Flood events can impact human health and safety, and result in substantial costs to property and infrastructure. Geared toward municipal decision makers and concerned citizens.

Speakers & Videos


Jessica Rennells, Climatologist, Northeast Regional Climate Center

Climate Change and Extreme Precipitation

Jessica Rennells is a climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center and is an author of the Northeast Chapter of the National Climate Assessment. The mission of the Northeast Regional Climate Center is to facilitate and enhance the collection, dissemination, and use of climate data and information, as well as to monitor and assess climatic conditions and impacts in the twelve-state, northeastern region of the U.S. Its activities are intended to further the economic efficiency and general welfare of public and private institutions and individuals in the region.

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Stuart Findlay, Aquatic Ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Flooding and the Ecology of Streams

Stuart Findlay is a senior scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Stuart’s research focuses on the ecology of streams and rivers, with a focus on nutrient cycling and food web dynamics. For nearly twenty years he has been working in the Hudson River. His research achievements were recently honored with an Environmental Quality Award from the EPA, which cited their importance in, “developing science-based targets for restoration and permitting.” Stuart is interested in watershed restoration issues as well as approaches to making scientific information more useful for ecosystem management.

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Wayne Reynolds, Commissioner, Delaware County Department of Public Works
Flood Recovery: Lessons Learned Along the Way

Wayne Reynolds is the Commissioner of Delaware County's Department of Public Works, where he has been responsible for highways and solid waste management since 1991. The county's 260 road miles and 291 bridges have given him extensive flood recovery experience. Prior to his Delaware County post, he worked for McFarland Johnson Engineers in Binghamton, where he gained experience in highway and bridge construction, hydrology, hydraulic design, and interstate highway design.

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Gregg Swanzey, Director of the Office of Economic Development and Strategic Partnerships, City of Kingston

Libby Murphy, Climate Outreach Specialist, Hudson River Estuary Program, NYSDEC
Kingston Waterfront Flooding Task Force: A Case Study for Community-driven Flooding Adaptation

Gregg Swanzey is Director of the City of Kingston’s Office of Economic Development and Strategic Partnerships. He has extensive marine background as an ocean master mariner as well as executive roles in the public sector and for non-profits in Massachusetts and New York. He resides in the Rondout section of Kingston, where he also serves on the Board of the Kingston Land Trust, is a member of the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council, and sits on the Ulster County Planning Board as the City of Kingston representative.

Libby Murphy is the Climate Outreach Specialist for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program. She is a lifelong resident of the Mid-Hudson Valley and serves on the Environmental Board for the Town of New Paltz. Since 2007, Libby has held several positions working on regional climate, energy, and sustainability issues.

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Carolyn Klocker, Senior Water Resource Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension; Moderator
Panel Discussion

Carolyn Klocker is the Senior Water Resource Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County. Carolyn works with the Dutchess County’s municipal officials, local watershed groups, and volunteers, and is a resource for residents on water issues in the county. She also runs No Child Left Inside, a program focused on getting Poughkeepsie students outdoors to learn more about the environment.

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Correction: During the panel discussion, Dr. Stuart Findlay stated that the Poughkeepsie water temperature record did not show a significant trend. A recent publication describes the record and reports almost a 1 degree C warming over the course of the record.  The abstract and citation are appended below.

D. A. Seekell and M. L. Pace, "Climate change drives warming in the Hudson River Estuary, New York (USA)", Journal of Environmental Monitoring, vol. 13, no. 8, p. 2321, 2011.

Estuaries may be subject to warming due to global climate change but few studies have considered the drivers or seasonality of warming empirically. We analyzed temperature trends and rates of temperature change over time for the Hudson River estuary using long-term data, mainly from daily measures taken at the Poughkeepsie Water Treatment Facility. This temperature record is among the longest in the world for a river or estuary. The Hudson River has warmed 0.945 degrees C since 1946. Many of the warmest years in the record occurred in the last 16 years. A seasonal analysis of trends indicated significant warming for the months of April through August. The warming of the Hudson is primarily related to increasing air temperature. Increasing freshwater discharge into the estuary has not mitigated the warming trend.



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