The Adirondack Watershed Institute's outreach efforts are designed to engage all ages and groups within the Adirondack community in ways that facilitate the stewardship of our natural resources and thereby enrich and support the well-being of both residents and visitors. This mission is accomplished through the stewardship program, environmental research, and environmental education programming.

AWI Stewardship Program: Each summer, the AWI posts seasonal watercraft inspectors at over 50 boat launches across the Adirondack and St. Lawrence regions to implement programs sponsored by New York State and the USEPA. In addition, the AWI operates 20 watercraft decontamination stations to give visitors the tools to prevent the spread of AIS. The daily interactions that AWI stewards have with visitors at boat launches and boat decontamination sites serve to increase awareness about the harmful environmental and socioeconomic effects of aquatic invasive species. While watershed stewards and decontamination technicians inspect and selectively decontaminate all watercraft and gear, they also educate and demonstrate steps that boaters should take to take preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species. AWI watershed stewards educated over 202,000 boaters in the 2017 season.

Research Projects: AWI research projects generate scientific knowledge to inform public officials and policy makers about the health of natural resources and the implication of various management activities. The AWI published several articles summarizing its research findings related to the effects and costs of road de-icing, and used water quality monitoring data to conduct a regional analysis of the effect of road salt on sodium and chloride levels in ground and surface water. This study was published in the Journal of Water Research and has been presented at various stakeholder meetings. The combination of outreach and science in this study resulted in significant changes in the way towns and the state departments of transportation use road salt in the Adirondack Park.

Environmental Education Programs:

Like learning another language, the process of building environmental awareness to change behavior is most effectively begun when people are young. It was with this understanding, combined with the need to reach a broader audience, that we offer the AWI Water Shield Workshops. Our workshops are designed to engage school-aged participants in a hands-on watershed education experience. Children and adults that participate in our environmental education programs walk away with a deeper, more meaningful understanding for how complex, important, and threatened our watersheds are.

In addition to our watershed workshops, we work closely with our partners public education programs, including:

* Adirondack Watershed Steward training

* Aquatic plant identification and mapping

* Water quality monitoring and sampling

* Tabling and public presentations at meetings and events


Please contact us if your group/organization is interested in a presentation or workshop

Water Shield Workshop

2018 will be the fifth year that the Adirondack Watershed Institute implements our very own Water Shield Workshop! Based off of the many floating classrooms nation-wide the Water Shield Workshop will work with school-aged children as well as the public to educate them about the watersheds they live in. For our program specifically we will travel with our boat the Water Shield to the different lakes covered by our watershed stewards, rapid response team and plant monitoring team; to help the students make connections with the places they live in. The program will have 4 sections, which will come together to give a great overview of the place the program is being conducted at. On land, students will partake in a "how to be a steward" activity where they will get to work with an actual watershed steward to identify Aquatic Invasive Plants or Animals, inspect different types of watercrafts, and set up educational displays. Also on land, students will learn how watersheds work by using a watershed model and then seeing what things around them can impact the watershed they live in. All of this, along with "The Incredible Journey" activity to help participants better understand the water cycle and the movement of water through our environment. Then it's all aboard the Water Shield, where students will learn how to test water quality and conduct plankton tows to see what's living just below the water's surface. The hope of the Water Shield Workshop is to be able to create awareness about the importance of our water bodies and to instill the idea and action of stewardship for the natural environment.

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News & Events

Paul Smiths, NY (06/12/2018) — The Paul Smith's College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) has been awarded a five-...

Paul Smith's College

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Transportation
(DOT) and Office of Parks, Recreation...

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The mission of the Adirondack Watershed Institute of Paul Smith's College is to create scientifically-sound knowledge about terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and human relationships with the environment, enhance the educational opportunities available for undergraduate students and to engage the Adirondack Community in ways that facilitate the stewardship of our natural resources.

Adirondack Watershed Institute
Paul Smith's College
P.O. Box 265, Paul Smiths, NY 12970-0244
Tel: 518-327-6213
Fax: 518-327-6369