The Ausable River Association
The mission of the Ausable River Association (AsRA) is to identify, conserve, and restore the Ausable River watershed’s natural and recreational resources for their ecological value and the benefit of human communities.
Since 1998, AsRA has been working cooperatively with landowners, municipalities, and government agencies to conserve the valued resources of the Ausable watershed. How? We provide scientific expertise, we help private and public landowners pursue responsible stewardship practices, and we foster collaboration and information sharing among organizations, universities, government agencies, local businesses and individuals who care about the Ausable River. We are practical and ecologically minded. AsRA identifies and implements balanced conservation solutions that emphasize the importance of a healthy Ausable River for resilient and sustainable watershed communities.
Our vision is of a vibrant Ausable River valley where a resilient river ecosystem, rich with native flora and fauna, is cherished and protected by a diverse community of residents participating in a robust sustainable economy.
A small, professional staff, dedicated volunteer board, and numerous volunteers work to address threats to water quality and river ecology. We pursue basic research, encourage sound stewardship practices, provide outreach and education opportunities, and we plan, design, and implement effective restoration, monitoring, and stewardship projects.
Current projects include:
-Assessing and replacing undersized culverts in the Ausable watershed to connect fragmented ecosystems, facilitate native trout movement, and limit infrastructure damage during floods. In 2015, we'll be working with our partners to redesign and repair 3 culverts on Ausable tributaries;
-2015 will bring the release of the long-awaited Ausable River Watershed Management Plan that identifies restoration, protection, policy and monitoring priorities to protect the river and watershed;
-Coordinating effective and economical natural stream restoration at priority sites to prevent erosion and reduce sedimentation, restore trout habitat, improve hydrological function, and enhance the river’s access to its floodplain. This year we are coordinating the restoration of the old dam washed out by Irene at the Keene Town Beach across from Marcy Field. In its place will be a natural rock weir that will protect the pool at the beach while providing additional habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms;
-Educating anglers, recreation-based businesses, and the general public about techniques for preventing the spread of the invasive algae Didymo and other aquatic invasive species. Look for our River Steward in 2015;
-Establishing a water quality monitoring program that brings sound science to our evaluation of the river;
-Planting trees and restoring stream-side riparian buffers. We are experimenting with designed planting nmethods that ensure lasting plantings by using larger, mature anchoring trees and shrubs;
-Providing seasonal toilet facilities along the most popular stretches of the river;
Our partners include: Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Towns of Ausable, Black Brook, Chesterfield, Jay, Keene, North Elba, and Wilmington, Essex and Clinton County, NY State Department of State and Department of Environmental Conservation, regional universities, local businesses, and individuals in our communities.
For more details about our projects visit our projects page.