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SECTION 57-0105
Legislative findings and intent
Environmental Conservation (ENV) CHAPTER 43-B, ARTICLE 57, TITLE 1
§ 57-0105. Legislative findings and intent.

The legislature hereby finds that eastern Long Island contains a
maritime region of statewide importance known as the Pine
Barrens-Peconic Bay system.

The legislature finds that within the Pine Barrens-Peconic Bay system
the federal, state, county and local governments own and manage
significant properties in the form of parks, preserves, historic sites
and protected open space, where there is an interdependent and
reciprocal relationship between human activities and natural processes,
and where fishing, agriculture and tourism have been the dominant
industries for more than three hundred fifty years.

The legislature also finds that within the Pine Barrens-Peconic Bay
system natural processes have created unique landforms such as Robin's
Island, Shelter Island, Gardiners' Island, Fisher's Island, Long
Island's North and South Forks, and numerous wetlands, bluffs and
beaches.

The legislature finds that the Long Island Pine Barrens, an area
encompassing over one hundred thousand acres in the county of Suffolk,
is of critical importance to the state because it overlies the largest
source of pure groundwater in New York. The Pine Barrens are
interconnected to the Peconic Bay system by the Peconic River, the
longest groundwater river in New York, and the ecologic and hydrologic
integrity of this system should be protected in a comprehensive plan
adopted by the state and individual local governments.

The legislature also finds that the Pine Barrens-Peconic Bay system
contains one of the greatest concentrations and diversities of
endangered, threatened and special concern species of plants and animals
to be found in the state, and that protection of their habitats is in
the best interest of the people of New York.

The legislature further finds that the Pine Barrens-Peconic Bay system
contains many other unique natural, agricultural, historical, cultural
and recreational resources that are mutually supportive and ultimately
dependent upon maintenance of the hydrologic and ecologic integrity of
this region.

Therefore, the legislature finds that the purpose of this title is to
allow the state and local governments to protect, preserve and properly
manage the unique natural resources of the Pine Barrens-Peconic Bay
system and to encourage coordination of existing programs and studies
affecting land and water resources in the region and to protect the
value of the existing public and private investment that has already
been made to acquire land in the region.

The legislature further finds that a portion of the system known as
the Central Pine Barrens area requires the preparation and
implementation of a state supported regional comprehensive land use plan
that will provide for the preservation of the core preservation area,
protection of the Central Pine Barrens area and for the designation of
compatible growth areas to accommodate appropriate patterns of
development and regional growth with recognition of the rights of
private land owners and the purpose of preservation of the core area.

The legislature recognizes that the provisions of this title may
restrict the beneficial use of some lands currently in private
ownership. These restrictions are deemed to be necessary and desirable
to protect and preserve the hydrologic and ecologic integrity of the
Central Pine Barrens area as well as the public's health and welfare for
future generations. The legislature intends that a comprehensive
regional land use plan be implemented whereby private landowners whose
property is located within the Central Pine Barrens area are afforded an
opportunity to receive benefits from the plan such as transferable
development rights, conservation easements, rights and values transfers,
purchase of development rights and/or fee acquisition with monetary
compensation.