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
* 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