Roeliff Jansen KillRoeliff Jansen Kill

General info

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The Roeliff Jansen Kill watershed is a major tributary of the Hudson River, which empties to the Hudson at Linlithgo. Most of the watershed lies outside of Dutchess County in Columbia County, although parts of the northern Dutchess Towns of Northeast, Stanford, Pine Plains, Milan, and Red Hook, are within the Roeliff Jansen Kill watershed. Major streams in the watershed include the Roeliff Jansen Kill and Shekomeko Creek.

Natural Features and Habitats

According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the Roeliff Jansen Kill is a large cool-water tributary with a medium stream gradient located six miles south of the city of Hudson at river kilometer 175 (river mile 109). The riverine habitat includes six miles of accessible area, extending from the mouth to a natural barrier at Bingham Mills, which is available to migratory and resident fishes. In 1992, based on macroinvertebrate sampling, the water quality in the Roeliff Jansen Kill was found to be good (non-impacted), but this may have changed since that time. The area provides important spawning habitat for alewife, blueback herring, white perch, and resident smallmouth bass and the introduced brown trout (Salmo trutta). At the mouth of the Roeliff Jansen Kill, there are shallow waters that provide important spawning sites for American shad. Small areas of marsh and mudflats at the mouth support at least one rare plant species, the kidneyleaf mud-plantain. (For more information, see: Fish and Wildlife Rating Form).

Parts of the Roeliff Jansen Kill are also considered to be part of the Harlem Valley calcareous wetlands complex, which encompasses the valleys and adjacent ridges in the Taconic Highlands of easternmost Putnam, Dutchess, and Columbia Counties in New York. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the northern portion of the Panhandle wetlands and the Drowned Lands area drain into the Roeliff Jansen Kill. The area encompasses the calcareous wetlands, uplands, and ridge-top habitat which support rare reptiles, waterfowl, and raptors, as well as rare plant habitats and communities. Most of the wetlands and uplands in this habitat complex are in private ownership (For more information, see:

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Top Threats

Top threats to the Roeliff Jansen Kill include non-point source runoff from agricultural operations in the watershed (including chemical and biological), and increasing population density and development, which is exacerbating problems of flooding, erosion, deposition, water quality impairment, and ecosystem degradation.

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Recent Studies

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Public Access Sites

Public Access Sites to Water Resources in Dutchess County

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Public access sites in the Roeliff Jansen Kill watershed
Indicates a public access site for the Roeliff Jansen Kill

Public access sites in nearby watersheds
Indicates a public access point to the Hudson River or a Hudson Direct drainage stream
Indicates a public access site on the Casperkill
Indicates a public access site on the Fall Kill
Indicates a public access site on the Fishkill Creek
Indicates a public access site on the Ten Mile River or a tributary to the Ten Mile River
Indicates a public access site on the Wappinger or a tributary to the Wappinger

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Links to Resources and Organizations

Roeliff Jansen Park, Hillsdale, NY
The park’s organization is is through many different partnerships. After the purchase of this land, the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation formed an innovative partnership with the Town of Hillsdale, NY, which manages the park. Roeliff Jansen Park, PO Box 305, Hillsdale, NY, 12529. The park is located at 9140 Route 22, Hillsdale, NY 12529.

Columbia Land Conservancy
The Columbia Land Conservancy works with the community to conserve the farmland, forests, wildlife habitat and rural character of Columbia County, strengthening connections between people and the land.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County
CCEDC provides research-based information and resources to watershed organizations and officials in Dutchess County to help protect natural resources.

Hawthorne Valley Farm, Farmscape Ecology Program
The Farmscape Ecology Program is a research and outreach branch of the Hawthorne Valley Association, its general focus is agriculture and land use change in Columbia County.

Hudson River Watershed Alliance:
Contact: Katy Dunlap, Coordinator, P.O. Box 685, Poughkeepsie, NY 12602. Tel: 845-486-1556, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Hudsonia, Inc.
Hudsonia Ltd., founded in 1981, is a not-for-profit institute for research, education, and technical assistance in the environmental sciences.

Stream Alliance of Northern Dutchess (SAND)
Contact: Sheila Buff, 500 Milan Hill Road, Milan, NY 12571. Tel: 845-758-3035, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . does not endorse any of the above organizations, or the information provided on their websites.

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  • Riverkeeper Presentation: Crude Oil Transportation in the Hudson Valley

    April 2nd

    Date: April 2, 2015: 5:30PM to 7:00PM
    Location: Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, Room TBA

    Join Riverkeeper’s Jeremy Cherson, Riverkeeper Fellow for a presentation about the risks of crude oil transportation in the Hudson Valley on April 2, 2015. This presentation is made possible by our sponsors the Casperkill Watershed Alliance and Vassar College Sustainability - See more at: