Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,I,Ref-Mahopec) and Sen. Terrence Murphy announced today the passage of legislation designating Baldwin Lake, Ossi Lake and Lake Purdys as inland waterways for the purpose of waterfront revitalization. Aimed at protecting the natural beauty of these beautiful water bodies, these bills will increase access to funding easing the financial burden of maintaining these natural resources, and will ensure local residents and vacationers are able to enjoy these recreational destinations for many years to come.

This designation will provide municipalities and organizations in close proximity to these bodies of water the ability to apply for waterfront revitalization grants through the Department of State and Environmental Protection Fund. This aid will support initiatives to improve water quality, preserve open spaces and wildlife habitats, along with promoting tourism and economic development. Additionally, this funding will be used to combat threats to the overall well-being of these waterways, including pollution, storm water runoff and invasive species.

“Protecting the future vitality of our waterways is important for not only our community’s environmental health, but our economic health as well,” said Byrne. “This legislation, designating Baldwin, Ossi and Purdys lakes as inland waterways will better enable local municipalities to protect these bodies of water, revitalize the surrounding areas and seek future grants from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.”

“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 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.”

“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 mean increased opportunities for local tourism and 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 Sen. 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 eligible communities can implement as part of a local waterfront revitalization plan for the purpose of protecting precious resources.

The legislation currently awaits the Gov. Cuomo’s review and final approval.