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For Release: Thursday, September 15, 2011

DEC Announces Official Opening of Downtown Plattsburgh Boat Launch

Site Universally Accessible and Allows for Public Fishing Access

Together with state and city officials, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced the opening of the Downtown Plattsburgh Boat Launch.

"Providing high quality access that can accommodate the increasing needs of bass anglers and other lake users has always been a DEC priority," said Commissioner Martens. "I'm proud of the hard work and long time dedication of DEC staff along with the City of Plattsburgh's partnership to open this new site for general use. The new boat launch will add to New York's diverse fishing opportunities, and bringing anglers and other boaters to the area it will benefit the local economy. Residents and visitors alike will be able to utilize this new site to enjoy boating on Lake Champlain and afterwards partake in all the downtown amenities."

"The City of Plattsburgh was very pleased to partner with DEC officials and staff to bring this project to the downtown area of Plattsburgh," said Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak. "Relationships like this improve public access to Lake Champlain for our residents, visitors, and fishing groups. I truly appreciate partnering with DEC on this project."

The boat launch is located off Dock Street on the shore of Lake Champlain just south of the mouth of the Saranac River. The facility includes three launching and retrieval lanes with docks on each side of the ramp and along the shoreline. There are 31 designated vehicle and trailer parking sites, 12 car-only parking sites and additional parking in the adjacent parking lot.

The ramp and docks are built in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Three accessible parking spots have been designated, two spots are for a vehicle with trailer and one is for a vehicle only. The size of the ramp, the number and location of docks, and the ample amount of parking is also ideal for fishing tournaments and boating events held by the City each year.

"Lake Champlain is consistently ranked as one of the top bass fisheries in the nation, and the City of Plattsburgh is always a favorite destination for our anglers," said Kathy Fennel, FLW Outdoors president, Operations Division. FLW Outdoors Foundation is a non-profit organization, designed to connect America's youth to their natural resources, promote education, conservation, and an active lifestyle. "We are thrilled to see improved lake access, which will allow us to host even more large-scale televised tournaments in Plattsburgh. This commitment to providing quality access to one of the nation's most valuable natural resources will provide economic benefits to the region for many years to come."

DEC staff designed the boat launch and oversaw its construction. State Capital funds were used to pay for construction of the $627,000 facility. The City of Plattsburgh will be responsible for managing and maintaining the boat launch.

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