Feb 12, 2021

Program to Protect Drinking Water in New York Community Announced

The project is the Land Trust’s 20th conservation easement within the Six Mile Creek watershed.

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New York's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Finger Lakes Land Trust established a perpetual conservation easement on a priority parcel in the Six Mile Creek watershed.

The watershed is located in the town of Dryden, Tompkins County, New York.

The easement will protect public water supplies in the city of Ithaca and was partially funded in part through New York's Water Quality Improvement Project Program.

“Protecting our drinking water is one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s top priorities because he recognizes access to clean water is essential to the well-being of New York’s communities,”  said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, reported Finger Lakes News. “Through successful programs that protect watersheds and working with partners like the Finger Lakes Land Trust in Dryden and throughout the Finger Lakes, New York State is maximizing our investments to provide clean water for generations to come.”

According to Finger Lakes Land Trust Executive Director Andrew Zepp, the project is the Land Trust’s 20th conservation easement within the Six Mile Creek watershed.

The 13.5-acre easement includes a seven-acre environmental protection zone that will preserve the riparian buffer and 1,100 feet of frontage on Six Mile Creek.

By working with Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District, the riparian buffer to prevent potential contaminants from entering the creek will be restored. 

The trust was awarded a $641,250 Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) grant to help protect the Six Mile Creek Watershed, according to the New York State website. Six Mile Creek struggles with erosion rates, sediment load, and high flow velocities, which can impact water quality.

The project will result in at least 190 acres of permanently protected lands, including stream banks on Six Mile Creek and its tributaries. The goals are to preserve water quality in the region to alleviate concerns that the drinking water supply is vulnerable to contamination.

The Boris Conservation Easement was acquired using a portion of the State’s WQIP grant to FLLT, added the city's website.

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