A forum was held to discuss concerns about the management of the Delaware River. YNN's Eva McKend has more on the meeting, and what some people had to say.
LOCH SHELDRAKE, N.Y. -- Listening sessions hosted by the partners of the Flexible Flow Management Plan allowed members of the public a rare opportunity to speak to the groups that manage daily operations of the Delaware River.
"This was really an unprecedented opportunity to directly address the decree parties who generally are this unseen body out there that we write a lot of letters to, but we can’t put a face to," said Laurie Ramie, Executive Director of the Upper Delaware Council. "So we did appreciate the opportunity to come and directly hear the concerns of the Upper Basin region."
The Flexible Flow Management Plan was created in 2007 to provide a more flexible means for managing releases from New York City's three Delaware reservoirs.
"It was important for us as a body, the decree party principles from the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York State along with the city of New York to actually get out into the field, into the basin and hear directly from the key stake holders," said Paul Rush, Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
For the past several years, the regions in the Delaware River Basin have experienced tremendous flooding, making flood mitigation the most heavily discussed issue.
"It spilled Memorial Weekend and spilled fourth of July weekend. They couldn’t rent canoes, so there needs to be voids, three feet or more, maintained year round," said Joan Homovich, a Downsville resident.
Homovich said attending the forum was worth it because she felt her voice was heard.
"405 residents signed a petition to fight for voids. I come as just a citizen. They took notes and if they are listening, they are at least writing something," said Homovich.
Other issues that were discussed included the recreational use of the water, and concern for the aquatic life and ecosystems.