Lewisboro, NY - Many of our inland waterways are directly linked to tourism and the economic well-being of our communities. However, some waterways that were once havens for local families and vacationers are slowly succumbing to the damaging effects of pollution, erosion, and stormwater run-off. To stem the rising tide of these problems, Senator Terrence Murphy is helping the Lewisboro community gain access to a new funding stream that will restore its lakeside communities. Senator Murphy sponsored S8252A, which designates six lakes - Katonah, Kitchawan, Oscaleta, Rippowam, Truesdale and Waccabuc as inland waterways for the purpose of waterfront revitalization.
By designating these lakes as inland waterways, the lakeside communities along their banks are now eligible for Department of State and Environmental Protection Fund waterfront revitalization grants, enabling them to pursue improved water quality, preservation of open space and wildlife habitat, promotion of tourism and economic development opportunities.
"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. "By designating these bodies of water as 'inland waterways,' Lewisboro will have the ability to tap into state funds that can improve the quality of life for residents and visitors."
Peter Parsons, Lewisboro Town Supervisor said, "I welcome any opportunity to improve the town's lakes and to help the surrounding communities. I am hopeful that this legislation will be a step forward for the town of Lewisboro."
Janet Andersen is President of the Three Lakes Council, which was formed to protect Lake Waccabuc, Lake Oscaleta, and Lake Rippowam. The board consists of representatives of all the lake associations in the Three Lakes plus the Waccabuc Country Club and the Waccabuc Landowners' Council. Anderson said, "I am pleased that the three lakes in our community are included in the Lewisboro lakes which were added to the list of designated inland waterways. This listing is the essential first step to be eligible for state funds to maintain and improve the water quality and environmental status of Lakes Oscaleta, Rippowam, and Waccabuc."
Commonly known as the Three Lakes, Lake Waccabuc, Lake Oscaleta, and Lake Rippowam are interconnected natural lakes. Lake Waccabuc is the largest and most well known, and is a prime spot for boating, fishing, and swimming. Lake Oscaleta and Lake Rippowam are also called the Twin Lakes because of Twin Lakes Village, a development that runs between them. Along with the other lakes, Lake Kitchawan, Lake Katonah, and Lake Truesdale, these six bodies of water are home to some of Westchester County's most pastoral lakefront communities.
Assemblyman David Buchwald sponsored the legislation in the Assembly. The bill was signed by Governor Cuomo on August 27th.