Carmans River Watershed Protection Act, Will Add 1,000 Acres to Central Pine Barrens Area.

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R,C,I – Port Jefferson) and Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, co sponsors of the legislation to protect the Carmans River watershed and add approximately 1,000 acres of land to the Central Pine Barrens area, said today that their legislation has been signed into law by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. The measure had unanimously passed the Senate and Assembly.

The Carmans River Watershed Protection and Management Plan initiative recognizes that the most expeditious and effective means of achieving the dual objectives of environmental preservation and economic development is to expand the Core Preservation Area of the Central Pine Barrens.  This legislation sets in place a process that will allow for better protection of this critical habitat and watershed. This goal has brought together a wide variety of groups including environmentalists, builders, civic associations and local governments.

“This legislation will preserve and protect for generations to come the quality and character of our region and, importantly,  further protect our drinking water,” Senator LaValle said.

“The Carmans River represents an integral part of the Central Pine Barrens ecosystem.  This legislation ensures that the Carmans River and the surrounding  watershed are protected and remain a vital part of Long Island’s natural beauty and ecology,” said  Assemblyman Bob Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) Chair, New York State Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation and the bill’s sponsor in the Assembly.

The Carmans River is 10 miles long and is located in the Central Long Island Pine Barrens Region, which is publicly protected and managed land. Sections of the Carmans River are designated by New York State as a wild, scenic, and recreational river and a New York State Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat. The Carmans River and the Peconic River are Long Island’s only rivers in the Pine Barrens Region and two of Long Island’s four major Rivers. The other two are the Nissequoque and the Connetquot Rivers. The headwaters of the Carmans River are in Middle Island and it descends to Shirley.