MakingWaves – Water Week Special Edition; Water Management in the 1980s

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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MakingWaves - Celebrate Water Week

Five Decades of Water Restoration and Protection

DEC's Division of Water invites you to celebrate Water Week with us as we highlight some of the milestones in each of the five decades since the first Earth Day in 1970.

Today’s topic: Milestones of the 1980s

Did you Know?

  • In 1981, New York State’s Coastal Erosion Law was enacted, providing critical protection for shoreline erosion-hazard areas. The management of coastal erosion hazard areas helps protect coastal habitat areas, inland natural resources, homes, businesses, and communities from wind and water erosion and storm induced high water.
  • In 1984, DEC and the Empire State Electric Energy Research Corporation sponsored a three-year water chemistry and fish survey of 1,469 Adirondack lakes and ponds to assess acid rain. That same year, New York State passed the first law in the nation to control acid rain, the State Acid Deposition Control Act. Then in 1990, Congress amended the federal Clean Air Act to require nationwide controls on sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Today, water samples from over 50 designated Adirondack Long-Term Monitoring (ALTM) lakes are collected and analyzed several times per year. Thanks to the air emission laws in place, recent samples have shown that the water is becoming less acidic.
  • In 1989, DEC and the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation began providing low-interest local government loans through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) for projects to prevent water pollution. Since its inception the CWSRF program has provided more than $28.5 billion in low-cost financing.

Moose River

Test your water history

What was enacted in 1987 that broadened the responsibilities and authority of DEC under the Clean Water Act to address additional water quality threats, such as stormwater? (answer below)

Learn more

On DEC’s website, you can find information about:

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