LHLIRCD traveled to NYSERDA's offices in Albany in early April 2013 to present the latest findings on the Hudson River Foodway Corridor Project. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) funded research on the feasibility of the project and this presentation included a summary of those findings. Shino Takanawa, LHLIRCD Board Member, presented data and analysis provided by three consultants - Karp and Associates, New West Technologies, and Roberta Weisbrod - on agricultural product options, transportation options, and logistics associated with bringing agricultural products to New York City via a barge down the Hudson River.
The turnout at the event was great with attendance by members of the office of Senator Gillibrand, the New York State Association of Counties, the New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Canal Corporation, New York State Ag & Markets, and NYSERDA. In addition, a number of organizations were represented by those who participated over the web via live streaming, including the Apple Growers Association, United States Department of Transportation Maritime Highway, and New West Technologies.
Ms. Takanawa's power point presentation peaked interest and spurred a lively discussion on next steps.
Hudson River Foodway Transportation Analysis by New West Technologies
The Logistics Study by Roberta Weisbrod
Our Hudson Valley Grass Energy (HVGE) project is making great strides. Farmers with surplus hay or fallow fields and an interest in additional income for their farm, energy independence, and the ability to recycle by-products invite LHLIRCD's mobile pelletizer and its operator to their property to have their grasses densified into grass pellets. The pellets may be used to generate heat in the farmer's house or may be sold to interested customers--both residential and commercial.
The Lower Hudson-Long Island Resource Conservation and Development Council (LHLIRCD) has had a very good 2012 and I would like to thank all of the members of the Council for their support, hard work and continuing efforts to move the RC&D forward.
I am proud to say that our Council is alive and well in these difficult financial times. We are functioning, developing new programs and outreaching to groups throughout our region and New York State. We are holding regular, well-attended meetings and the enthusiasm of each and every member is always apparent and appreciated. Our signature projects are moving forward and the ones we created in the past are on firm footing. The LHLIRCD is proud to be working towards the betterment of Long Island, New York City, and the Hudson Valley.
The Hudson Valley Grass Energy Project has been moving along with great momentum, thanks to the direction of the HVGE subcommittee and the new team that has been hired to operate the mobile pelletizer. The team continues to work diligently on perfecting the mechanics of the pelletizer and on reaching out to other similar groups. While more farmers are interested in densifying their grasses, HVGE is working with appliance retailers to generate increased demand. This project supports local farmers, promotes energy independence, requires no fertilizers or pesticides, and generates energy from a local, carbon-neutral, renewable and highly affordable resource.
The Hudson River Foodway Corridor Project, which we are working on in partnership with NYSERDA, is moving along quickly, as well. There is interest and support at every level, from local farmers to the NYC Mayor’s Office to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on the federal level. The goal is to move locally grown products by refrigerated barge down the Hudson River to ports in New York City. Ports beyond the Hudson Valley have expressed interest in possibly participating in the project as well, and expansion to Long Island farms and vineyards is hoped for. The LHLIRCD hired three consultants to do feasibility studies on farmer involvement, logistics and energy consumptions. This is only the beginning of a project that will grow into a very successful means of feeding the people of our city, state and outlying areas with healthy, locally grown food in an environmentally-friendly, sustainable and energy-conserving manner. The project is wide ranging and will meet the mission of the LHLIRCD to increase the viability of all of our resources.
Lastly, at the end of 2012, we hired a new Project Coordinator, Jill Slater. Jill brings a wealth of experience in regional planning, sustainable agriculture, event planning, fund raising and social media. She will facilitate the growth and success of our major projects as well as explore the potential for additional programming. Jill is also putting together a training forum for early summer, addressing such topics as storm water management and best agricultural practices in rural communities.
The LHLIRCD approaches 2013 with the same zeal as we have in the past. If you have any ideas on projects or would like to contact us, please do. We will continue to update our website so check in and follow our progress.
Brian Zimmerman, President, LH-LIRC&D
President LHLI RC&D Council Inc.