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For Release: Wednesday, May 18, 2016

DEC Gifted With More Than 15 Acres of Land At Owasco Flats Donated by the Finger Lakes Land Trust

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in conjunction with the Finger Lakes Land Trust, today announced the acquisition of a 15.4 acre parcel with 2,300 feet of frontage on the Owasco Inlet, Cayuga County. The parcel is located within the Owasco Flats, an area of wetlands and cropland located just south of Owasco Lake within the town and village of Moravia.

The Finger Lakes Land Trust purchased the property in 2008 through a grant from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation. The land has been donated to DEC to enhance fishing, hunting, trapping, hiking, kayaking and other outdoor recreational pursuits.

"DEC is very fortunate to be able to acquire this key piece property from the Finger Lakes Land Trust at no cost to taxpayers," said Acting Regional Director Joe Sluzar. "This land enables recreationists to avail themselves of fishing, hunting, hiking and nature observation opportunities in an area that is very important to sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts. We are grateful to the Land Trust for this donation."

"This project is great news for Owasco Lake and also for everyone who likes to get outdoors," said Land Trust Executive Director Andrew Zepp. "We're grateful for the support of the Fred L. Emerson Foundation which made this possible."

Prior to acquisition, the property contributed significant runoff to Owasco Lake through soil erosion. A streamside restoration project, undertaken by the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, successfully addressed this issue and enhanced habitat for fish and wildlife. Trees planted as part of this effort have grown tremendously and there has been a dramatic reduction in soil and phosphorous runoff into the Lake.

This land was identified as a high priority for protection through the Finger Lake Land Trusts' Owasco Flats Conservation Planning and Stakeholder Survey Project. The year -long restoration project surveyed landowners and developed recommendations for the area's long-term conservation.

This is the third parcel acquired by DEC for the Owasco Flats Wildlife Management Area Project, which is one of the projects listed under the Finger Lakes Shorelines and Riparian Zones statewide priority project in the New York State Open Space Plan. The parcel adjoins an existing DEC Fishing Access Site on the Owasco Inlet.

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