PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – Hudson River Sloop Clearwater has been awarded $24,487 in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency toward a Peekskill program.
The grant will fund “The Peekskill Urban Watershed Initiative: Advancing Water Quality Protection Through Community Engagement and Youth Empowerment.”
Clearwater will lead efforts to coordinate a community-based watershed planning committee, which residents are urged to join. Active partners in the initiative include local groups such as Comité Latino and Citizens for Equal Environmental Protection, and agencies such as Peekskill’s Conservation Advisory Council, Planning Department, and Water and Sewer Department.
Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster said the money would go mostly toward teaching and youth outreach programs.
"It will expose our teenagers and young adults to the environmental sciences and maybe spark an interest in environmental concerns and sciences," Foster said.
The funding will also allow for greater monitoring by Clearwater of the Hudson River and the tributaries that feed into it, such as McGregory Brook and Dickey Brook, Foster said.
"We've been looking at McGregory Brook and the quality of the Hudson River, and they're continuing to seek grants to do education and outreach about water bodies throughout the city," Foster said.
The project team will coordinate a series of assessment and research projects to fill in information gaps and create a more complete understanding of the watershed, including a volunteer-led visual assessment, a research project of the brooks’ historical significance, and a water resource assessment and mapping project.
Working closely with the Peekskill Youth Bureau, Clearwater will pilot a new Urban Watershed Stewardship Program that will award six local youths the opportunity to attend training sessions and learn and work closely with project partners.
There will also be a Peekskill Creek Week event series and a public forum to present significant findings, a community creek cleanup in two of Peekskill’s waterfront parks, and an educational display and presentation at Peekskill Celebration.