FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE05-32
Charles G. Sturcken
York City Partners with New York State and Westchester County
to Preserve Open Space and Protect Drinking Water in Upstate
left to right, DEP First Deputy Commissioner David Tweedy,
Governor George Pataki, State Senator Vincent Leibell, and
Town of Somers Supervisor.Mary Beth Murphy.
Commissioner Emily Lloyd of the New York City Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) announced today that an agreement has been signed
among New York State, Westchester County, the Town of Somers, and
the Westchester Land Trust to dedicate a 650-acre parcel in Somers
as Open Space that will protect and preserve a vast portion of undeveloped
property in the Croton watershed. The City’s contribution is
$9.4 million for 270 acres of the parcel. The Town of Somers and
Westchester County are expected to contribute about $4 million and
the State is dedicating $3.2 million to acquire a conservation easement
on 382 acres.
In December 2003, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg allocated $25 million for
land acquisition as a further commitment to protect the Croton watershed.
These funds complement the land acquisition program that had been in place
in the West-of-Hudson watersheds, since the signing of a 1997 agreement
between the City and State that called for acquisition of land in order
to maintain the pristine water bodies located in the Catskill and Delaware
Commissioner Lloyd said “DEP’s land acquisition program
has allowed us to protect thousands of acres of critical watershed lands
from degradation and development and also to offer recreational opportunities
to community members and visitors to these picturesque locations. The
City’s water supply is its most precious natural resource and we
must continue to make every effort to ensure its continuing high quality.“
Deputy Commissioner David Tweedy addresses the audience at the
dedication of the Angle Fly Preserve.
The acreage is currently known as the Angle Fly Preserve. It was formerly
owned by a Queen’s developer who planned to erect housing. He accepted
a buyout from the partnership, thereby allowing the City to preserve the
property’s natural characteristic as an unspoiled landscape, less
than an hour from New York City, and as noted by Commissioner Lloyd “most
importantly, continuing to offer unparalleled natural protection to the
Croton water supply system.”
New York City has been engaged in a comprehensive effort to protect
water quality throughout its 2,000 square-mile system of reservoirs
and watersheds. It has dedicated over $1 billion to various protection
programs, of which almost $300 million alone has gone to acquisition
of sensitive land from willing sellers at fair market value.
The land acquisition program announced today will protect the largest
privately held property in Westchester County. The Croton system water
supply, the oldest serving New York City, extends across Westchester,
Putnam and southern Dutchess Counties and provides the City with up
to 10% of its daily water supply.