Senator Murphy, Byrne Pass watershed legislation to provide economic steam for the revitalization of local lakes

Albany, NY - Summer is here, and that means fishing, boating, canoeing and swimming. But some of our local waterways that were once refuges for residents and vacationers are battling against encroaching algae and the damaging effects of pollution. These and other factors have had a detrimental effect on tourism and the economic well-being of our communities. However, maintaining their natural beauty can be a costly proposition. Senator Terrence Murphy and Assemblyman Kevin Byrne are helping several local communities gain access to a new funding stream that will ease that burden. The Hudson Valley legislators sponsored S4735A/A7123A, which 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 Senator 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."
New York State Assemblyman Kevin 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 municipalties to protect these bodies of water, revitalize the surrounding areas and seek future grants from the state's Environmental Protection Fund."
"Our communities deserve every opportunity to have clean and accessible waterways," said Westchester County Legislator Francis Corcoran. "I am thrilled that this legislation has passed in both the Senate and the Assembly and is one signature away from becoming law. Baldwin Lake, Ossi Lake and Lake Purdys have rich historical histories and this legislation will help jump start their revitalization while enhancing their economic and environmental importance to their local communities."
Putnam County Legislator Neal Sullivan said, "Protecting our lakes and other vital waterways should be a priority. They face serious threats from invasive species, toxins, sewage overflow and other forms of pollution. Clean, revitalized lakefronts means increased opportunities for local tourism and is an economic boost for Putnam County."
Rick Morrissey, Somers Town Supervisor said, "I am pleased to learn that Lake Purdy's has been added to the inland waterways list through the good offices of Senator Terrence Murphy and Assemblyman Kevin 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."
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 the Governor's review and final approval.