Im encouraged to see that the governor is joining our efforts to prevent ice jams in the Mohawk River and to ensure families in the Capital Region are protected from the dangerous flooding they cause. Last year, I fought for a $200,000 increase in the state budget to support the Mohawk River Basin Program, which works to prevent ice jams and flooding as well as protects our drinking water quality. Today the governor announced $500,000 to fund a flooding and ice jam study of the main-stem Mohawk River corridor which is a critically important investment for our community that will build on the great efforts so many have made.
This winter, we saw some extreme weather that caused major problems for families living near the Mohawk River, and we have to be prepared to continue dealing with this issue in the future. Even worse flooding is possible if this situation is not addressed. I recently attended a symposium about the Mohawk Watershed at Union College hosted by Professor John Garver and will continue working to ensure we tackle the issue of flooding in the Mohawk head-on.
I mailed a study of the ice jam problem written by Professor John Garver of Union College to my constituents which demonstrated that certain constrictions in the channel of the Mohawk cause the ice jams, particularly in areas where sediments deposited over time have obstructed the channel. The study also cited the immovable hydroelectric dam at Lock 7 as a possible cause of the flooding. I commend Professor Garver for his hard work in this area and all the government agencies, including even the Albany County Sheriff, who contributed to his effort. His work provides an invaluable starting point for determining how to address this problem.