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Ausable River restoration work displayed

Jay DPW Superintendent Chris Garrow talks with Carl Schwartz.

Jay DPW Superintendent Chris Garrow talks with Carl Schwartz. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Contractors, town and county public works departments, and state crew members gathered along the banks of the Ausable River to learn about creative ways to rehabilitate areas in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene almost one year ago.

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The banks of the East Branch of the Ausable River in Keene Valley.

The project, which has been done along the East Branch of the Ausable River in Keene Valley, is a cooperative effort between Trout Unlimited, the Ausable River Association, Essex County Soil & Water Conservation District, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the town of Keene and local landowners.

“This is not just a random bunch of sticks and mud,” Carl Schwartz of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. “There were a lot of elevations and shots taken and a lot of planning went into this project. When we are done, we still want this to look like an Adirondack river and give it the appearance that we were never here.”

“People who will be doing this work got the chance to see various natural channel design techniques,” Ausable River Association Director Corrie Miller said.

Miller said that the demonstrations were meant to help people who were working on river remediation be more effective.

“I cannot say enough good things on the people who have been working along the river,” Miller said. “They are all trying to do what is right, and we have spent a lot of time with them on how to do that. This is one of those things that can help them.”

The project had been going on for three weeks prior to the “open house” style event, and Schwartz said there was more work to be done.

“We still have some things that we want to do,” he said. “We want to add more weight, more shade, more cover and more root mass along the river.”

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