The New York State Senate passed important legislation sponsored by Senator Brian X. Foley (D – Blue Point) officially designating Lake Ronkonkoma as an inland waterway. The bill is a crucial step towards cleaning up the lake and revitalizing the lakefront area.
“It is critical that we clean up Lake Ronkonkoma and remove the pollutants that have been building up in the lake for years,” said Sen. Foley. “This legislation will not only facilitate the cleanup process, it will also clear the way for lakefront revitalization.”
Speaking on the floor of the senate, Sen. Foley underscored the historical importance of Lake Ronkonkoma, which dates back to pre-colonial times, and discussed the immediate need to help improve the lake. “In recent years, the overall condition of the lake has been threatened, as portions of it have begun to deteriorate as a result of pollution, storm water runoff, and littering,” said Sen. Foley.
Recognition as a state inland waterway will enable Lake Ronkonkoma to receive new streams of funding and expedite economic development on the lakefront. Sen. Foley’s bill to grant this important recognition passed unanimously in the senate.
"The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization expresses its gratitude to Senator Foley for sponsoring and supporting this bill, which will place Lake Ronkonkoma on the state list of "inland waterways", thereby making it eligible for waterfront revitalization programs,” George Schramm, president of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization. “Through this legislation Senator Foley has helped create an opportunity for Lake Ronkonkoma which will result in increased conservation, better access, and, ultimately, more jobs for the communities around Long Island's largest lake."
Suffolk County Legislator John Kennedy praised the legislation. “I wish to congratulate Senator Foley for sponsoring this legislation which designates Lake Ronkonkoma as an inland waterway,” said Kennedy. “By achieving passage of this important legislation, preservation efforts will be significantly enhanced. It will be a major step towards improving water quality, shoreline maintenance, and rejuvenating recreational activities,” said Kennedy.