AW, FERC Call for Mongaup (NY) Boating Study
By: Robert Nasdor
American Whitewater, along with Kayak and Canoe Club of New York and Appalachian Mountain Club, have joined with FERC in calling on Eagle Creek Renewable, owner and operator of three hydropower projects on the Mongaup River in New York, to conduct a whitewater boating study on the section below the Rio Dam. The Mongaup is a scenic Class II/III river within easy reach of New York City and southern New England.
The Mongaup River is a highly valued whitewater boating resource that is enjoyed by thousands of paddlers each year in search of a predictable and enjoyable boating opportunity that is accessible to paddlers of varying abilities. The Mongaup draws boaters from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania seeking a stretch of continuous Class II/III whitewater with a remote feel, although boaters are never too far from a road you don’t see it until the very end. One of the few options during dry months, the Mongaup is a frequent destination for paddling clubs in the region including KCCNY and the Connecticut Chapter of the AMC.
The river is characterized by its ample surf opportunities, along with an eddyhopper's dream, and rocks everywhere in the "miracle mile" keep paddlers thinking several moves ahead. There are challenges for every skill level. Along with the whitewater features, the natural surroundings along the Mongaup are a major draw. Lush, green and isolated, the Mongaup gives one a sense of primitive nature only a short drive from New York City. Eagles and other wildlife are frequently seen while on the river, providing a close-up view of their majesty.
Both whitewater groups and FERC are seeking to determine whether releasing flows into the natural river channel below the Rio Dam would provide new recreational boating opportunity at the Rio Project. At present, boaters enjoy bi-weekly weekend releases on the Mongaup below the powerhouse. The study will determine whether the whitewater boating run can be extended upstream to the Rio Dam. In addition, AW and its partners will be seeking additional whitewater boating release days through the relicensing process.