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For Release: Wednesday, October 19, 2016

DEC Opens New Accessible Canoe and Kayak Hand Launch on Staten Island

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) held a ribbon cutting today celebrating the opening of Old Place Creek Access Site, providing the first public access to critical wildlife habitat in northwestern Staten Island. The completion of this project marks another milestone in the effort to increase public access to DEC Lands across the state.

"The opening of this site allows anyone in the community to explore by land or water, the many natural wonders of Old Place Creek," said DEC Region 2 Director Steve Zahn. "The launch provides access to over two miles of sinuous tidal creek, and the overlook gives a rare opportunity to see native and migratory birds and other wildlife."

Site features include:

  • An accessible hand launch for canoes and kayaks
  • An accessible viewing platform
  • A 5-car parking area with one accessible parking space

"Staten Island bore the brunt of the Cibro Savannah oil spill, so it is only fitting that the penalty money obtained from those responsible has been directed to the island," Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said. "This project creates the first public access to Old Place Creek, providing New Yorkers an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy, first hand, one of Staten Island's most extraordinary natural areas."

"This boat launch and viewing platform provides critical public access to a very important restored ecological area" said John Catena, Northeast and Great Lakes Regional Supervisor, NOAA Restoration Center. "NOAA is pleased that oil spill damage assessment settlements funded both this project and the restored wetlands to which they provide access and will allow the public to fully enjoy this precious resource."

The project was built by DEC Operations staff at a cost of $142,000. The project was funded through monies obtained by the New York State Attorney General's Office in a settlement that New York, the City of New York, New Jersey, and NOAA reached with Montauk Oil Transportation Corp. over the oil spill from its Cibro-Savannah barge.

Old Place Creek Access Site is located on Gulf Avenue, west of Forest Avenue and across from the Goethals Bridge Toll Booth.

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