Murphy, Byrne Sponsor Bills to Revitalize Local Lakes

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Senator Terrence Murphy and Assemblyman Kevin Byrne are helping several local communities gain access to a new funding stream that will help them deal with encroaching algae and the damaging effects of pollution by sponsoring legislation that designates Baldwin Lake, Ossi Lake and Lake Purdys as inland waterways for the purpose of waterfront revitalization.

By defining these lakes as inland waterways, the municipalities and organizations along their banks will be eligible for Department of State and Environmental Protection Fund waterfront revitalization grants. Local communities will be able to pursue improved water quality, preservation of open space and wildlife habitat, promotion of tourism and economic development opportunities, as well as combating threats to the waterways, including pollution, stormwater run-off and invasive species.

“Our social and economic future is in part tied to the preservation, enhancement, development and use of the natural and man-made resources of the state’s inland waterways,” said Murphy. “Our communities deserve an opportunity to tap into a funding source that will help local officials make improvements that can increase the quality of life for residents and visitors.”

Byrne said, “Protecting the future vitality of our waterways is important for not only our community’s environmental health, but our economic health as well. This legislation, designating Baldwin, Ossi and Purdys Lakes as inland waterways will better enable local municipalities to protect these bodies of water, revitalize the surrounding areas and seek future grants from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.”

Somers Supervisor Rick Morrissey said he was pleased to learn that Lake Purdy’s has been added to the inland waterways list by Murphy and Byrne.

“It is hoped that once the town obtains approval of our Local Waterfront Revitalization Program we can move forward with projects to revitalize our precious lakes,” he said.

The state’s coastal and inland waterway program includes 47 policies, which communities with an inland waterway can implement as part of a local waterfront revitalization plan for the purpose of protecting precious resources. The legislation awaits Governor Andrew Cuomo’s review and final approval.

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