Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Status Proposed for South Bay

The South Bay Task Force and Friends of Hudson announced yesterday that on June 15, 2011, the Department of State proposed to designate major portions of South Bay as a Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat (SCFWH). This designation would give South Bay the same level of protection now provided for Stockport Creek and Flats SCFWH and 250 other designated habitats throughout New York State. 

This map of the proposed SCFWH boundary was prepared by the South Bay Task Force, which has been working toward this outcome by providing ecological field data to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the New York Natural Heritage Program, and the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve. The South Bay Task Force reports that the proposed boundaries "follow the South Bay creek, connect the West and East basins of the South Bay, cross a large section of the earthen dam (variously known as the former railroad right-of-way and "causeway"), extend to the southern edge of the L&B property and beyond, and integrate marshland on both sides of Route 9[G]." 

The proposed designation is the culmination of efforts by several groups, in addition to the South Bay Task Force: the Valley Alliance, which has raised the importance of this designation on several occasions with State officials; Scenic Hudson, which has been pushing for this designation for years; the Preservation League of New York State, which has provided valuable assistance; and Hudsonia Ltd., which has been studying the area for more than a decade.

A public comment period on the proposed designation began on June 15 and continues through July 15. Comments should be submitted to:

Stephanie Wojtowicz
Department of State
Division of Coastal Resources
99 Washington Avenue, Suite 1010
Albany, NY 12231
(518) 486-7641

Click to access to access the draft memorandum that makes the proposal.

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