State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) announced today that the Senate has approved his legislation, Senate bill 6150, for the second year in a row. The measure, if enacted, will include the Esopus Creek within the definition of "Inland Waterways" for waterfront revitalization.
"Municipalities and organizations along the Esopus Creek’s banks will become eligible for Department of State and Department of Environmental Conservation funding," stated Senator Bonacic. "This designation is especially crucial, given the annual flooding occurrences in many communities and given the fact that existing flood management systems are not working."
Projects that will be grant eligible as a result of the Creek’s inclusion as a State Inland Waterway include: implementing water body/watershed management plans designed to mitigate flooding, urban waterfront development, and resource management and planning.
Town of Hurley Supervisor Gary Bellows stated, "I thank Senator Bonacic for sponsoring this legislation. The Esopus is a valuable resource for the Town of Hurley. With the enactment of this bill, not only can we enhance the Creek, but also help with flood mitigation."
Senator Bonacic concluded, "Our creeks must be maintained properly so that when flooding does occur, it is not exacerbated. Government at all levels should have learned a lesson from Katrina, where the lack of maintenance of levies greatly contributed to the deluge of water. It is my hope that the Governor will sign this into law."
Senate bill 6150, which has also passed the Assembly, will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.