Our Environment.
Our Home.
OUR CHALLENGE.

  • 1

Get The Kids Out during mid-winter recess. OCCA is holding a special program, Get The Kids Out—Amphibian Alive at the Biological Field Station Thayer Farm Upland Interpretive Center in Springfield, NY. Designed for elementary school kids and their families, this program will explore amphibians and our burgeoning spring. 10 a.m. to noon. Free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

April 1910am – Thayer Farm Upland Interpretive Center (State Highway 80 – ~ 7 miles up Otsego Lake)

 

 

 SAVE THE DATE

OCCA Highway Cleanup

April 88am – Mohican Farm (7207 State Highway 80 – next to OCCA office)

Join OCCA as we clean up the roadside on a two-mile section of State Route 80 spanning the towns of Springfield and Otsego. Enjoy a nice, brisk walk, and help the environment, too! Safety vests and helmets, bags, and gloves will be provided. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Meet at Mohican Farm at 8 a.m.; we will aim to finish up by 11.

 

Get the Kids Out

April 1910am – Thayer Farm Upland Interpretive Center (State Highway 80 – ~ 7 miles up Otsego Lake)

Get The Kids Out during mid-winter recess. OCCA is holding a special program, Get The Kids Out—Winter Wonderland at Robert V. Riddell State Park in Oneonta. Designed for elementary school kids and their families, this program will explore the life of the forest, past, present and future. 10 a.m. to noon. Free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

OCCA Movie Night

April 21 – 7pm – Milford Central School Auditorium

New this year is Earth Festival Movie Night, on Friday, April 21. The Josh Fox film, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change will be screened at 7 p.m. in the Herbert B. Garman, Jr. Performing Arts Center at Milford Central School. Documentarian Josh Fox (Gasland) travels the globe to meet global climate change warriors who are committed to reversing the tide of global warming. Funny and tragic, inspiring and enlightening, the film examines the intricately woven forces that threaten the stability of the planet and the lives of its inhabitants. The film is two hours long. Admission to Earth Festival Movie Night is free. The movie is sponsored by OCCA, Otsego 2000, and the Environmental Stewardship Team of the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown. Visit our Earth Festival page (http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/) for more information.

 

OCCA Earth Festival

April 2211am3pm – Milford Central School

Back for its 13th year, Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. This event attracts over 1000 people every year, and more than 30 exhibitors and vendors. This year’s activities will include the pre-festival bird walk, the EcoArt contest, yoga for beginners and children, and recycling opportunities. To be a vendor, exhibitor, or event sponsor, visit our Earth Festival page (http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/) and download a form, or contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488.

 

OCCA Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Garage Sale

April 29/30 – 9am – 4pm – Cooperstown Farmers Market

OCCA’s Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Garage Sale will be on Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, 2017 at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market. Bargains galore abound at this annual event, which helps OCCA raise money for our county-wide environmental programs while also reducing waste.  Check OCCA’s website (http://occainfo.org/reduce-reuse-recycle-garage-sale/)for details on how and when to donate items for the garage sale and how to volunteer For more information contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488, or e-mail director@occainfo.org.

 

Ag Plastic Collection, Coming This Spring

May 6 – 8am11am – Southern Transfer Station

Farmers, start saving your film plastic! OCCA, in cooperation with Otsego County Solid Waste, Otsego County Soil and Water, and Casella, is holding collection days for Ag Plastic in May. Acceptable plastics includes bale wrap, bunker silo cover, silage bags, and greenhouse covers. Plastic must be sorted according to type. For details on storage and transport, contact Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087.

 

Save The Date

May 12 – Carl B. Good Cooperstown Boat Wash Station Dedication

May 13 – Bird Walk led by Becky Gretton

May 17 – Be Informed! Lecture Series with Bob Sutherland: Integrate Pest Management for the Home Greenhouse and Garden

May 27 – CCE and CRISP Invasive Species Workshop:  Detect and Manage Invasive Species

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

What Is Recyclable at Earth Festival

Again this year, OCCA and our partners will be doing a recyclefest at Earth Festival. Below is a list of items you can bring to Earth Festival for recycling for FREE!  Save the planet….recycle!

  • Clean, white Expanded Polystyrene Foam (#6); includes packing material (not peanuts), egg cartons, takeout food containers, foam cups. MUST BE WHITE only, MUST BE #6 EPS (i.e., looks like little tiny beads), MUST BE CLEAN and dry.
  • Tennis balls
  • Natural wine bottle corks
  • Used toothbrushes and toothbrush packaging (non-electric toothbrushes), empty toothpaste tubes, empty dental floss and dental tape containers
  • Used pens, markers, and highlighters, used mechanical pencils
  • Eyeglasses (look for the Cooperstown Lion’s Club table)
  • Used inkjet cartridges (NOT TONER CARTRIDGES), cell phones, small, handheld electronics (up to tablet size)
  • Wood pellet bags
  • Monfilament fishing line
  • Gently used shoes (in pairs only, please)
  • Document Shredding

How Do I Get Rid Of? Feature on OCCA Website

The new and improved OCCA website is featuring a “How Do I Get Rid Of” app that lets citizens know how to appropriately dispose of a variety of items from compostable material, recyclable materials and other household items.  You can access this app by clicking on the recycle  button on the top left of every page or by visiting our recycling web page at:  http://occainfo.org/recycling/.  Our Recycling Committee will at Earth Festival showing patron how to use the new app.  Go visit and check it out!

 

TerraCycle Update

The OCCA TerraCycle collection only accepts the following items: used pens, markers and mechanical pencils; natural corks from wine bottles; empty toothpaste tubes, discarded toothbrushes (non-electric only), and packaging from toothbrushes and dental floss. Cereal bags are no longer being accepted, but can be taken to any grocery store that collects plastic bags. The TerraCycle collection bin is located outside the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, 101 Main Street, Cooperstown.

 

Otsego County Demographic Data

The Cornell University Program on Applied Demographics recently released their 2017 county-level profiles for New York. These profiles cover sociological, economic, and demographic data categories. The data contained in these profiles will be useful in obtaining a snapshot of your respective communities. Please follow this link to learn more: https://pad.human.cornell.edu/profiles/index.cfm

 

Census Data Webinar

The American Planning Association is conducting a webinar series on how to utilize Census data for your day-to-day planning and economic development needs. These webinars cover a broad range of topics ranging from income and poverty-related statistics to analyzing census block group data. The webinar series can be accessed by clicking the following link: https://planningpa.org/news/2017-spring-webinar-series-census-data-users/

 

Climate Change Presentations at SUNY Oneonta

There will be two presentations at Hunt Union Red Dragon Ballroom regarding issues in climate change.

  • April 186pm – Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director or Food and Water Watch, author of Foodopoly, and Frackopoly.
  • April 20 – 4:30pm – Divesting from Fossil Fuel:  An Example for the Village of Cooperstown

Did You Know?

Otsego Lake did not completely freeze again this year.  This marks the third year without complete ice cover since records began in 1842.  The three years on record without ice cover have all been since 2000 (winter 2001/2, 2011/12 and 2016/2017).  Additionally, Otsego Lake was included in the Environmental Protection Agency report on climate change indicators for lake ice, a national database of sites tracking climate change in the United States.  For more information on Otsego Lake data, see the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station website (http://www.oneonta.edu/academics/biofld/otsegolake.asp)

 

Submissions for this year’s EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest, to be displayed at Earth Festival 2017 on Saturday, April 22, will be accepted up to and including the day of the event. Awards will be provided for first and second places for Adult entry and Student entry.   This trash-to-treasure challenge to create something practical or artistic from items that have outlived their original purpose is open at no charge to students, with a $5.00 fee for adults. “Entries over the years have included some amazing pieces that have ranged from practical to whimsical to beautiful – with artists of all ages submitting items crafted from every conceivable part of the waste stream,” said Susan O’Handley, an organizer of Earth Festival since it’s inception in 2005.

 

The EcoArt /Trendy Trash contest has become an Earth Festival favorite, and new submissions are welcomed from artists and inventors of all ages. All EcoArt entries must be original works of art and brought to the Earth Festival event on Saturday, April 22 between 9:30 and 11am.  All entries must be picked up at the end of the Earth Festival at 3pm unless arrangements have been made with CANO in advance.

 

In 2017, Community Arts Network of Oneonta (CANO) takes over the oversight of the EcoArt Competition with plans to further develop the program in future years to include workshops in advance of the event.  This year, entries will be displayed at CANO at their location at 11 Ford Ave, Oneonta, NY 13820 during the last week in May with an Opening Reception on Thursday, May 25.

 

Leslie Orzetti, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Otsego County Conservation Association is excited to have CANO involved with Earth Festival.   “Having the involvement and support of CANO for presenting the EcoArt component of Earth Festival is a perfect fit to support our area artists at all levels and to bring additional exposure to the creativity that exists here in our region.  It also helps to bring attention to solid waste issues that communities face across the country.”

 

For complete information about Earth Festival and the EcoArt Competition, visit the Otsego County Conservation Association website at www.occainfo.org/earth-festival or call (607) 547-4488 to learn more.

 

Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. Earth Festival 2017 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association.

 

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning, and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org

(COOPERSTOWN) –Cooperstown native Beth (Renckens) Gibbons will be the featured speaker at the twelfth annual Earth Festival in Milford on Saturday, April 22. Gibbons’ talk, “Understanding and Preparing for Climate Change in Otsego County,” will provide a brief overview of the climate system, then dive deeply into current and anticipated changes for our area. The talk begins at twelve fifteen in the Herbert B. Garman, Jr. Performing Arts Center at the school.

“We’re thrilled to have a speaker with Beth’s expertise as part of Earth Festival,” said Leslie Orzetti, Executive Director of OCCA, Earth Festival’s sponsoring organization.

“The impacts from climate change are the local manifestations of global change,” said Gibbons. “Because we feel these impacts so acutely: the floods, severe storms, and shifting seasons—especially the loss of winter—we are able to develop strategies for coping with these changes.”

Gibbons graduated from Cooperstown Central School in 2000. She is the Managing Director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), the leading professional society for climate change adaptation professionals in the United States. ASAP connects and supports climate professionals, while advancing innovation in the field of practice through establishing promising practices, pushing resiliency-focused policy initiatives, and celebrating tremendous work of local community leaders.

Prior to taking the reins at ASAP, Gibbons led the University of Michigan Climate Center and oversaw the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes RISA program. Under her tenure these programs distributed over $1.2 million dollars to more than 50 organizations in eight states, to increase the understanding of climate change in the region and to develop strategies to prepare for current and future changes.

“Climate change is here,” said Orzetti. “As much as we want to stop it we need to plan for what is coming in an inclusive way.”

Earth Festival is a family-oriented event that features environmentally-themed vendors, exhibitors and activities. The event occurs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the gym at Milford Central School. The event also includes Spring Garden Day, offered by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties, from 10:30 to 2 p.m. Other activities offered at Earth Festival include a movie night on Friday, April 21; a pre-festival bird walk offered by Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society at 9 a.m. on April 22, children’s activities, recycling opportunities, and the traditional vendor and exhibitor fair. For information about Earth Festival, visit the festival page, http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning, and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org

Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking volunteers to assist with the thirteenth annual Earth Festival event at Milford Central School on Saturday, April 22, 2017.

Earth Festival is a family-oriented event that features environmentally-themed vendors, exhibitors and activities. The event occurs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the gym at Milford Central School. There is also a pre-festival movie night being held on April 21 at 7 p.m., also at the school.

Volunteers are being asked to help with a wide variety of tasks on Friday and Saturday, including setting up on Friday afternoon, helping vendors/exhibitors set up and break down, providing information to attendees, assisting with recycling activities, taking pictures, and helping clean up after the event. To participate, contact OCCA Executive Director, Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488.

Other OCCA volunteer opportunities coming up include a highway cleanup in Springfield on April 8, and the annual Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Garage Sale on April 29 and 30. For information on those events, contact Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director, at (607) 282-4087.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning, and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org

Stewart’s gives OCCA funding for children’s programming

(COOPERSTOWN) – The Otsego County Conservation Association has received a $350 grant from Stewart’s Holiday Match program.  Monies from the grant will be applied to our new Get the Kids Out family adventure hike series.

The hikes are being held at various locations around the county to encourage families from every school district to attend.  The first hike was held during winter recess at Robert V. Riddell State Park and was highly successful.  The hikes are a part of our nature hike series, and have been scheduled during school breaks to encourage families to get out into nature, get some exercise, and learn some local ecology.  The next hike, planned for April 19 at 10 a.m. at the Thayer Farm Upland Interpretive Center, will focus on amphibians.  These programs are free and open to the public.

OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti states, “We are proud to be the recipient of the generosity of the Stewart’s Foundation, and are happy to be using the funds to bring free environmental education programming to Otsego County’s children and families.”

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning, and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org

Otsego County Conservation Association will be the beneficiary of Well Spent Wednesday on March 22 at Alex’s Bistro in Cooperstown.

Well Spent Wednesday is a regular event hosted at Alex’s Bistro. Patrons who mention they are supporting OCCA will have 15% of their bill donated to OCCA, assisting the organization in carrying out its mission of promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources.

“With all the attention being focused on national issues, it’s important for people to remember the local organizations working on their behalf,” said Leslie Orzetti, OCCA’s executive director.

OCCA conducts a broad spectrum of environmental programs. New this year is the Be Informed! Lecture Series, Get the Kids Out family adventure hikes series, and a citizen science water quality monitoring program. Past efforts have included halting a project that would have doubled the width of the Marcy South power line, and partnering with several organizations and municipalities to expand invasive species prevention efforts on Canadarago and Otsego lakes.

“We’re very grateful to Alex for hosting us,” Orzetti said. “We’ll have staff and board members on hand throughout the day to talk about our programs and activities. We hope to see a lot of people!”

Well Spent Wednesday to benefit OCCA will take place on Wednesday, March 22 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Alex’s Bistro is located at 149 Main Street, Cooperstown.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning, and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org

Identifying trees in winter will be the subject of a nature walk led by Otsego County Conservation Association. The program will take place at the Upland Interpretive Center at Thayer Farm on Saturday, March 25, at 9:30 a.m.

Most of the program will be spent on woodland trails at Thayer Farm, a 256-acre farm donated to the Biological Field Station by Rufus Thayer for the purpose of research and education. The walk will focus on common tree and shrub species found in Otsego County, and is suitable for children and adults.

Thayer Farm is located at 7027 State Highway 80, Springfield. It approximately seven miles north of the Village of Cooperstown, and three miles south of Springfield Center. Once at the farm, follow the signs to the UIC. The program is free and takes place rain or shine.

The Winter Tree ID hike is part of a series of nature walks and programs offered throughout the year by OCCA. Upcoming programs include a highway cleanup in Springfield on April 8, Morning Birding at Mohican Farm on May 13, and a hike at Glimmerglass State Park on June 11, as part of Otsego Lakes Festival. For information about upcoming programs, visitwww.occainfo.org.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org

March 6, 2017:  Vol. 11, No. 2

SAVE THE DATE

Well Spent Wednesdays

March 2211am10pm – Alex’s Bistro (149 Main Street, Cooperstown)

Come join OCCA for a meal at Alex’s Bistro in Cooperstown.  Alex has generously offered to donate 15% of your bill to OCCA.  This can only work if you come out for a wonderful meal at Alex’s!  We LOVE Alex’s eclectic menu and hope that you will as well.  Just mention OCCA when you dine.  We’ll have an OCCA employee at the restaurant for most of the day if you want to stop by and say hello!

 

Winter Tree ID Hike

March 259:30-11:30am – Thayer Farm Upland Interpretive Center (State Highway 80 – ~ 7 miles up Otsego Lake)

Do you know your ash from your elderberry? A beech from a birch? Can you tell a dogwood from its bark? Join OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley a walk at Thayer Farm in Springfield, and learn how to identify some common trees and shrubs. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

OCCA Highway Cleanup

April 88am – Mohican Farm (7207 State Highway 80 – next to OCCA office)

Join OCCA as we clean up the roadside on a two-mile section of State Route 80 spanning the towns of Springfield and Otsego. Enjoy a nice, brisk walk, and help the environment, too! Safety vests and helmets, bags, and gloves will be provided. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Meet at Mohican Farm at 8 a.m.; we will aim to finish up by 11.

 

Get the Kids Out

April 1910am – Thayer Farm Upland Interpretive Center (State Highway 80 – ~ 7 miles up Otsego Lake)

Get The Kids Out during mid-winter recess. OCCA is holding a special program, Get The Kids Out—Winter Wonderland at Robert V. Riddell State Park in Oneonta. Designed for elementary school kids and their families, this program will explore the life of the forest, past, present and future. 10 a.m. to noon. Free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

OCCA Earth Festival

April 2211am3pm – Milford Central School

Back for its 13th year, Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. This event attracts over 1000 people every year, and more than 30 exhibitors and vendors. This year’s activities will include the pre-festival bird walk, the EcoArt contest, yoga for beginners and children, and recycling opportunities. To be a vendor, exhibitor, or event sponsor, visit our Earth Festival page (http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/) and download a form, or contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488.

 

OCCA Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Garage Sale

April 29/30 – 9am – 4pm – Cooperstown Farmers Market

OCCA’s Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Garage Sale will be on Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, 2017 at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market. Bargains galore abound at this annual event, which helps OCCA raise money for our county-wide environmental programs while also reducing waste.  Check OCCA’s website for details on how and when to donate items for the garage sale. If you would like to volunteer at this event or donate items, contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488, or e-mail director@occainfo.org.

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

TerraCycle Update

The OCCA TerraCycle collection only accepts the following items: used pens, markers and mechanical pencils; natural corks from wine bottles; empty toothpaste tubes, discarded toothbrushes (non-electric only), and packaging from toothbrushes and dental floss. Cereal bags are no longer being accepted, but can be taken to any grocery store that collects plastic bags. The TerraCycle collection bin is located outside the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, 101 Main Street, Cooperstown.

 

Ag Plastic Collection, Coming This Spring

Farmers, start saving your film plastic! OCCA, in cooperation with Otsego County Solid Waste, Otsego County Soil and Water, and Casella, will be holding collection days for Ag Plastic in May. Acceptable plastics includes bale wrap, bunker silo cover, silage bags, and greenhouse covers. Plastic must be sorted according to type. For details on storage and transport, contact Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087.

 

Did You Know?

Woven polypropylene bags, commonly used for pet and animal food bags (Purina dog chow, Beneful, for example) are not currently collected as part of our recycling programs. These bags are sturdy, water resistant, and can be repurposed for many different uses, such as shopping bags, tarpaulins and wood pile covers, and over-the-door shoe organizers, and more. Feed bags will be collected at Earth Festival. If you would like some of these bags, please contact former OCCA President, Martha Clarvoe, at (607) 293-6654, or at martha.clarvoe@gmail.com.

 

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Adopts New Fishing Regulations

On February 28, 2017, the DEC announced that new freshwater fishing regulations will go into effect April 1, 2017. According to the DEC, the new regulations are a result of a two-year process that included biological assessments, discussions with anglers, and a 45-day public comment period. The regulations will be published in the 2017-18 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide that will be available at all license sales vendors and online in March. Please follow this link to learn about the highlights of the new regulations: http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/109392.html.

 

DEC Proposing Amendments to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)

The DEC recently announced a proposal to amend the regulations that implement SEQR (Title 6 NYCRR Part 617). According to the DEC, the main purpose of the amendments is to streamline the SEQR process without sacrificing meaningful environmental review. Comments on the proposed amendments can be submitted to the DEC’s Division of Environmental Permits, Attn: James J. Eldred, Environmental Analyst, 625 Broadway Albany, NY 12233-1750 or via email to: seqra617@dec.ny.gov. Comments will be accepted until the close of business on May 19, 2017. There will also be a public hearing on March 31, 2017 at the Broadway address listed above. Please follow this link to learn more: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/83389.html.

 

Yale University Releases Interactive Map Detailing Public Perception of Climate Change

Researchers from Yale University recently released an interactive map highlighting the public’s opinion on climate change. Public opinion polling is generally done at the national level, because local level polling is very costly and time intensive. Yale’s team of scientists, however, has developed a model to drill down to the state, congressional district, and county levels. Follow this link to learn what Otsego County residents think about climate change: http://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/ycom-us-2016/.

 

 

COOPERSTOWN, NY-Theresa Swenson and Kate Kornak will provide a joint presentation on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Wetland Programs, with a particular emphasis on how the regulations relate to water quality and lakeside residences at the Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee (WQCC) public meeting on Wednesday, February 22 at 1 p.m.

Swenson, an Ecologist with the DEC’s Region 4 Office in Stamford, will discuss the agency’s Article 24 Freshwater Wetlands Program, the functions and benefits of wetlands, status and trends in New York State, and common threats and concerns. Kornak, an Environmental Analyst in the DEC Region 4 Schenectady Office, will provide a general overview of the wetland permitting process, with relevant contact information, and other tools available for landowners.

According to the DEC, freshwater wetlands are lands and submerged lands, commonly called marshes, swamps, sloughs, bogs, and flats, supporting aquatic or semi aquatic vegetation. Wetlands provide protection against floods, habitat for wildlife, open space, and water resources. The Article 24 Freshwater Wetlands Program was designed to prevent the destruction of New York State’s freshwater wetlands while allowing for the responsible economic and social development of the state.

“Wetlands act as a sponge to filter runoff from the land and protect our waterways,” said Leslie Orzetti, the Executive Director of the Otsego County Conservation Association. “Permitting is important to protect wetland areas that would otherwise be compromised due to development,” she added.

Swenson formerly worked with the DEC’s Bureau of Wildlife as a Technician concentrating on the monitoring and research of rare bird species. She graduated from SUNY Cobleskill with a Bachelor’s of Technology in Wildlife Management. Kornak recently transferred from DEC region 7, where her territory included large waterbodies such as the Finger Lakes. In region 4, Kate works with the Towns of Springfield, Otsego, and Middlefield. She also operates in Schenectady County.

The WQCC meeting, which begins at 1 p.m. in Classroom A of the Meadows Office building, 140 County Hwy. 33W, Cooperstown, is hosted by the Otsego County Planning Department. The event is free and open to the public; pre-registration is required by Tuesday, February, 21. Those interested in attending should email WQCC Secretary Danny Lapin at planner@occainfo.org or call (607)547-4488.

The Otsego County WQCC was established in 1992 as a sub-committee of the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District. It is comprised of a diverse group of people representing state and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and lake associations. These members have technical expertise and knowledge and are committed to working to improve and maintain the quality of water in Otsego County through the reduction of nonpoint source pollution within its boundaries. For more information on the WQCC, visit: http://www.otsegosoilandwater.com/waterqualitycc.html.