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    Rivers utilize floodplains during high water conditions to reduce streambank pressure, slow the water, and prevent downstream flooding.

    Building or Filling in a floodplain not only puts your property at risk, but also can impact upstream properties if you live in a flood plain. Contact your local town or village for permit info.

    Visit here to access the FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC) to better understand flood risks in your area.


Erosion and Stream Dynamics

     The most stream erosion occurs during high flow conditions, when large amounts of water produce more energy than the stream is equipped to handle.

    Streams maintain a dynamic equilibrium in order to keep the system’s energy constant. As conditions shift, the stream adjusts to find a new equilibrium to continually minimize the energy of the system.


NYSDEC Stream Classifications

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation classifies streams in order to indicate the best usage of the waterway segment. The classifications are as follows:
            ♠ AA or A – Drinking water
            ♠ B – Swimming or other recreational activities
            ♠ C – Fisheries or non-contact activities
            ♠ D – Lowest standard

The NYSDEC and United States Army Corps of Engineers regulate many streams and other waterbodies. If you have a project planned near a body of water check with the NYDEC and USACE to determind if you need any permits. For more information visit the following links:

Section 404 Permit Program
Protection of Waters Program

Streambank Stabilization

Streambank Stabilization is a natural process, but interference is sometimes necessary when erosion threatens a person's property. If you are experiencing streambank erosion, we provide individualized technical assistance. We charge $30.00 per hour for technical assistance site visits.

Click for more information on streambank stabilization:

Streambank and Shoreline Protection Manual
Section 4 Biotechnical Measures for Erosion and Sediment Control

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Page last updated: February 5, 2020