Westchester County Legislators

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Board Relaunches Panels on Saw Mill & Bronx River Flooding



White Plains, NY — After a two-year hiatus, the Westchester County Board of Legislators on Thursday relaunched advisory boards dedicated to addressing flooding and other issues along the Saw Mill and Bronx Rivers.

The Saw Mill River Advisory Board (SWAB) and Bronx River Advisory Board (BRAB) bring together elected officials; administrators and professionals from state, county and local governments and agencies; residents; and members of community and environmental groups, to share information and support efforts to address needs relating to the rivers.

The work of the advisory boards is increasingly important as we deal with the impact of more frequent and more extreme weather events that can cause flooding.

Thursday's meeting attracted nearly 30 attendees including David Kvinge, Director, Environment Planning at the County’s Department of Planning, who provided an update on projects and plans for the rivers.  Those include riverbank stabilization, clearing of silt and sediment, a study of conditions along the entire Bronx River, and a plan for installing stream gauges to measure water from extreme weather events.

Attendees also raised a number of concerns including removal of invasive vines that kill trees affecting storm water management; removal of downed trees that cause flooding; strategies for dealing with debris including plastic bags and Styrofoam that back up storm drains and create debris dams; and discussion of infrastructure projects.

“I am so glad that SWAB and BRAB reconvened today," said Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D- Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Edgemont, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington), who chairs the Saw Mill board and co-chairs the Bronx River board.  "Attendance was excellent, a great deal of information changed hands, and governments and organizations with common issues connected with each other. We are looking forward to working on solutions to the issues our members have identified.”  

Legislator David Tubiolo, (R-Yonkers, Mount Vernon), who co-chairs the Bronx River board, said, “BRAB and SWAB facilitate the sharing of information, communication, planning and taking action with government agencies and not-for-profits, which helps Westchester County identify, mitigate and alleviate flooding. The more we prepare and include all parties, the better and safer our residents will be as we make our county more resilient for future storms.”

The Advisory Boards will meet again in June.

PICTURED ABOVE (Left to right at end of table): Legislators Nancy Barr; David Tubiolo, co-chair of BRAB; MaryJane Shimsky, chair of SWAB, co-chair of BRAB; and Damon Maher, relaunch Saw Mill River and Bronx River Advisory Boards.

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