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For Release: Wednesday, August 26, 2015

DEC Announces $40,000 in Improvements to Susquehanna River Boat Launch

A $40,000 project to enhance a cartop boat launch site in the town of Milford, Otsego County, will mean improved recreational access along the Susquehanna River to people of all ages and abilities, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Keith Goertz announced today. The boat launch is just upstream from Goodyear Lake.

Improvements to the existing boat launch include an expanded parking lot, which can now accommodate up to eight cars, construction of an informational kiosk, and installation of a new universally accessible dock system that will allow for safer and easier access to the water for launching and retrieving cartop boats.

"We would like to thank all of our partners who helped make this project possible, including the state Department of Transportation, the Otsego County Conservation Association, the Goodyear Lake Association, ENEL Green Power North America, and Senator James L. Seward for securing partial funding for this project," Goertz said. "Goodyear Lake is a local gem with abundant wildlife and a diverse sport fishery. It's also one of the fifty access projects improved recently under Governor Cuomo's initiative to enhance outdoor recreational opportunities for all New Yorkers. This new project will allow individuals with physical impairments to launch a canoe or kayak using the new dock system."

A legislative grant of $15,000, obtained by NYS Senator James L. Seward, funded a portion of the project. DEC funded the rest of the project and provided all the labor for the upgrades.

Senator Seward said, "Local sportsmen, along with many others who travel to Otsego County to enjoy our celebrated waterways and terrific fishing, will benefit from the improved boat launch. Canoeists, kayakers, and others have always enjoyed paddling on Goodyear Lake and the Susquehanna River, and I was pleased to partner with state and local officials to develop this safe, environmentally sound access point."

The boat launch area is heavily silted due to recent floods and is very muddy at low water, thus the need for a dock system to allow boaters to launch and retrieve boats in deeper water. With the ever increasing costs of travel, non-powered boating is becoming more popular as is public demand for free and improved waterway access.

The state Department of Transportation owns the boat launch property, which is located on NY Route 28 at the intersection of School House Hill Road in the hamlet of Portlandville. In April of 2012, DEC and DOT signed an agreement allowing DEC to manage the site for recreation and waterway access.

The Otsego County Conservation Association and the Goodyear Lake Association have had an interest in improving public access at this site for a number of years and worked with Senator Seward to secure partial funding for the project.

ENEL Green Power North America owns the underwater lands and provided permission to install the floating dock system.

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