The Saw Mill River Advisory Board is a positive forum for members in the water shed to meet and exchange information about matters relating to the Saw Mill River flooding in the member municipalities. Chaired by Westchester County Legislator MaryJane Shimsky, the SWAB has met with representatives from the US Army Corps of Engineers to discuss past flood control studies and possible future actions, representatives from the New York State Department of Conservation to review permitting process for debris removal actions within or near the river and has also met with representatives from the New York State Department of Transportation as they have a significant jurisdictional control over most parts of the river adjacent to the Saw Mill River parkway.
The SWAB provides the forum for municipalities such as Greenburgh to describe our early actions for debris removal along the stretch within our municipality and then to share our success with neighboring municipalities, such as the Town of Mount Pleasant and the NYS DOT.
In fact, it wasn’t until after Greenburgh forces cleared debris from the river that the DOT began to assemble a team and initiated their own debris clean-up program. Following a recent significant rain event, the SWAB discussed rainfall impacts in traditional flood areas post clean-up. While areas did flood, it is believed that the debris removal helped lessen some impacts in repeatedly flooded areas.
The SWAB is discussing the process to approach the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers for a joint municipal approach to future stormwater infrastructure projects, with the County taking the initial lead through Planning Commissioner Ed Buroughs. Additionally, the SWAB intends to keep active with river clean-up projects and land use activities to promote projects beneficial to storm water reduction.
The Bronx River Basin-Wide Watershed Advisory Board (BRAB) had its inaugural meeting recently during which Westchester County Legislator Alfreda Williams appointed White Plains Public Works Commissioner Bud Nicoletti and Greenburgh Public Works Commissioner Victor Carosi as co-chairs. The BRAB intends to review flooding concerns within the Bronx River floodplain.
At a recent meeting, members of the BRAB discussed changes in the river from past years noting excessive silt and sedimentation in areas. Future discussion may include efforts to remove some of the silt and sedimentation buildup and restoration to the extent possible, past river channels elevations. It was suggested that removal of some invasive vegetation and replacement with more native plantings as well as the redevelopment of wetlands and other features could help some of the flooding in local communities and lessen the stream bank erosion and siltation that was observed in some areas.