Stony Clove Stream Management Plan

Since 1995, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Stream Management Program has made a commitment to provide technical and financial assistance to communities for stream management planning and implementation. Working with the local Soil & Water Conservation Districts, as well as watershed stakeholders, the NYCDEP has promoted the use of watershed level stream assessments to develop stream restoration and protection strategies.

The Stony Clove Creek is located in the center of the Catskill region. Ringed by Sheridan, Little Rocky, Tremper, Carl, Olderbark, Plateau, Hunter and Westkill mountains, the Stony Clove Creek is typical of mountain streams. These stream often experience problems with flooding, water quality, recreation and human activities. Steep slopes, poorly drained soils, glacial geology and rainfall patterns are but a few of the factors which impact the Stony Clove.

The Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District and New York City Department of Environmental Protection worked with the Towns of Hunter and Shandaken, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Ulster County Soil & Water Conservation District and other partners to develop a long term, multiple objective management plan for Stony Clove Creek. This plan documents current and historical conditions in the stream and offers recommendations for improving the Stony Clove's stability, fisheries, and water quality, as well as reducing flood damage. This project was made possible through funding from the NYC DEP Stream Management Program, the US Army Corps of Engineers under the Watershed Environmental Assistance Program, and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

Volumes I and II of the Stony Clove Creek Stream Management Plan (SMP) were released in 2005.  Volume I provides Stony Clove Creek background information, watershed resources and institutional information. Volume II provides individual Management Unit Descriptions and General Recommendations, specifically tailored to the ongoing stewardship of the Stony Clove Creek sub-basin, as well as a description of the demonstration restoration project in Lanesville, and suggestions for plan implementation.

Volume 1

Table of Contents, Preface and Acknowledgements

Introduction & Goals

Stony Clove Natural and Institutional Resources

This section provides watershed background information and characteristics which influence the Stony Clove. A chapter on living streamside and stream related activities may be of particular interest to landowners, answering commonly asked questions, including necessary permits and agency contacts, relating to activities which may impact stream health or stability.

Regional Setting


Hydrology and Flood History

Watershed Geology

Wetlands & Floodplains

Riparian Vegetation



Recreational Opportunities

Agency Contacts and Program Resources

Stream Related Activities and Permit Requirements

Watershed Inventory and Assessment

This section includes a summary of water quality assessments that have been undertaken over the years in the Stony Clove, an introduction to the science of stream processes, and a description of the watershed assessment protocol used to develop this stream management plan.

Water Quality Assessment

Introduction to Stream Processes

Watershed Inventory & Assessment


Section 4 - Management Unit Descriptions

This section contains very detailed descriptions and specific recommendations for the Stony Clove, from the headwaters at the top of the watershed, downstream to its confluence with the Esopus Creek, located in the Town of Shandaken. The Stony Clove has been organized into 21 Management Units (MUs), defined using physical stream characteristics, historical channel alignments, location of bridges and road infrastructure, and valley characteristics. These MU descriptions outline stream conditions (its bed and banks), general streamside (riparian) vegetation condition, and proximity and arrangement of roads, bridges and culverts.

Management Unit Map

Section 5 - Demonstration Projects

Lanesville Stream Restoration Project Report

Section 6 - General Recommendations

This section sets forth an extensive list of recommendations related to education and outreach, flood protection, water quality, public enjoyment, fisheries, riparian zone management, stream management, and programmatic issues, providing a frame work for watershed stakeholders to develop a long term management strategy to protect and improve the Stony Clove.

General Recommendations

Plan Implementation


Appendix A - Riparian Vegetation Analysis for the Streamside Planting Program

Appendix B - Fish Habitat Assessment on Stony Clove Creek, NY using MesoHABSIM

Appendix C - Native Trees, Shrubs and Ground Covers for Riparian Buffers

Appendix D - Watershed Data and Analysis


Additional Information

Historic Photos of the Stony Clove

Stony Clove Stream Management Plan Project Team

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County

6375 Rt. 28, Shandaken, NY 12454

Phone - 845.688.3047; Fax 845.688.3130

Elizabeth Higgins, Project Coordinator


NYCDEP Stream Management Program

71 Smith Ave, Kingston NY 124021

Phone (845) 340-7839 Fax (845) 338-1367

Dan Davis, Project Manager


Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District  907 County Office Building, Cairo NY 12514  Phone (518) 622-3620 Fax (518) 622-0344 

Abbe Martin, Project Manager


For more information, e-mail info@catskillstreams.org

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