The HooRWA’ s 2012 State of the River Conference:

“Irene + 1″

What actually happened when Tropical Storm Irene hit our area, August 28, 2011? What relationship did the encounter have with Global Climate Change? How can we prepare for future storms? These are questions the Hoosic River Watershed Association’s 2012 State of the River Conference addressed. The Hoosic is a three-state watershed, as the river flows through northwestern Massachusetts, southwestern Vermont and eastern upstate New York before joining the Hudson River at Stillwater. The river rose quickly to record heights and, with its tributaries, damaged roads, bridges and homes. The conference can be seen in three segments. Simply click on the titles of the segments to view the videos at Willinet.

“The Effects of Climate Change.”Jerry Jenkins of the Wildlife Conservation Society and author of Climate Change in the Adirondacks: The Path to Sustainability,” speaks on Climate Change and what happened in the Hoosic watershed. Although it is not possible to tie Irene directly to a warming climate, it is part of a pattern of unusual weather events that warming will continue to influence.

“The Aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.”A panel describes local effects. HooRWA’s aquatic biologist, Kelly Nolan documents loss of biological life in the river. Carol Zingarelli relates a personal experience of losing a home in The Spruces Mobile Home Park. Rev. Carrie Bail considers the community’s effort to respond though organizing Higher Ground. Bill Botzow gives the perspective of a Vermont state legislator.

“River Restoration Strategies”James G. MacBroom, a leader in the field of water resources engineering involved in post-Irene reconstruction in eastern New York and southern Vermont, and consultant on the proposed improvements to the flood control chutes in North Adams, addresses mistakes made and corrections needed.

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