Stakeholder Coordination

Like most ecosystems, a river knows no human-made boundaries. When a wetland is paved in a particular town, increasing the flow rates of the rivers, the impact will be felt in communities further downstream. The power of a successful watershed alliance lies in its ability to bring different stakeholders from the private, public and nonprofit sectors to sit together and address issues of the river from a watershed-wide point of view. These connections are the foundation for collaboration between different stakeholders such as municipalities, local developers who own property along the river and community-based organizations who work to restore its health. A strong stakeholder forum is also an important tool for securing funding for river restoration projects. The Saw Mill River runs through 12 municipalities, several commercial districts and residential neighborhoods. With the support of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, the Saw Mill River Coalition is helping to coordinate the work of the Saw Mill Watershed Advisory Board (SWAB). The SWAB promotes river restoration projects at the watershed-wide scale as well as coordinates restoration projects at the local level.