WILMINGTON — Peru resident Gary Henry was hired for the position of stream restoration associate after a nationwide search by the Ausable River Association (AsRA).
Working closely with Executive Director Kelley Tucker, Henry will transition to lead the survey, assessment, design, construction, and long-term monitoring of stream restoration projects, including climate-ready-culvert replacements.
A licensed geoscientist, Henry started working on geomorphic river surveys nearly 20 years ago while a graduate student at Baylor University in Central Texas.
After graduate school, he continued doing freelance work on river surveys, usually in the rapidly urbanizing areas of central and north-central Texas, while working full-time as a hydrogeologist/project manager at an environmental engineering firm in Dallas.
In 2009, Henry relocated to the Champlain Valley and joined the faculty at SUNY-Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh where he developed and taught environmental coursework in a new program aimed at training technicians for work in industries such as soil and groundwater remediation and wastewater treatment.
He later developed a two-year program in environmental science and was awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching for his innovative approach to project-based instruction in 2017.
"I'm always looking for new challenges, and I'm excited for the opportunity to work with an organization that allows me to pursue my lifelong fascination with the form and processes of rivers," Henry said.
"The beauty of this watershed is immeasurable, and there is important work to be done here as we work to restore and maintain the self-sustaining functions of the Ausable and its many tributaries."
"Gary will work with our partners at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy Adirondacks, and others to continue our efforts to assess, monitor, and, when needed, restore the health of our Ausable streams," Tucker said.
"His skill and knowledge will allow us to better meet the growing demand of our healthy streams program."
In the next year, thanks to funds from the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery, AsRA will oversee construction of two restoration projects -- one on the East Branch Ausable River in the hamlet of Keene and another the hamlet of Upper Jay.
Another project includes the survey and design of a priority project on the main stem Ausable River in Au Sable Forks.
Since 1998, the Ausable River Association has helped communities protect the region's streams and lakes, their water quality, and the many forms of life that depend on them.
More information about AsRA's stream restoration efforts may be found online at: www.ausableriver.org.