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For Release: Wednesday, December 16, 2020

DEC and Thousand Islands Land Trust Announce Acquisition of Three Parcels of Land in Jefferson County

Protection of 527 Acres Will Help Protect St. Lawrence River's Water Quality

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and The Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) today announced TILT's acquisition of 527 acres in the Town of Alexandria as part of the Crooked Creek Preserve Water Quality Initiative. This acquisition will protect the surface water quality of the St. Lawrence River. TILT acquired the parcels with New York State Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) funding that provides resources to protect source waters.

"Protecting New York's waterways is a priority for Governor Cuomo," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "Working with partners like the Thousand Islands Land Trust to advance projects like the acquisition announced today demonstrates New York's sustained commitment to safeguarding public health and the environment, not just today, but for future generations."

"It is a great honor to join DEC in announcing the protection of over 527 acres of pristine grasslands, forests, and coastal wetlands," stated Jake Tibbles, TILT's Executive Director. "Since 1984, TILT has dedicated its efforts toward the conservation and protection of the region's most precious natural resources. And today, when it comes to ensuring that our lands and waters continue to serve as the lifeblood of our local economies and sustain our overall quality of life, its programs like the Water Quality Improvement Program that are leading the way."

The St. Lawrence River serves as a drinking water source for many nearby communities. As shoreline development and agricultural expansion continues along the River, the potential for water contamination of this widely used source water increases. The acquisition announced today includes three parcels in the Goose Bay/Crooked Creek complex.

Water quality in Goose Bay has declined over time due to eutrophication, which is an excess of nutrients likely due to runoff related to shoreline development and/or agriculture in the Bay's upper watershed. These excess nutrients are causing a dense growth of plant life and death of animal life from lack of oxygen, and in particular have led to aquatic invasive species growth in the bay adjacent to Kring Point State Park. To protect these source waters, New York State awarded a $225,360 WQIP grant to TILT to support the acquisition. The acquisition includes more than 150 acres of wetlands, and 5,000 feet of frontage along Crooked Creek in the town of Alexandria.

Acquired properties are:

  • The 319-acre Broudy property on Goose Bay in the Town of Alexandria borders Kring Point State Park. With its extensive coastal wetlands (about 100 acres) and nearly two miles of undeveloped road frontage, this tract provides unparalleled source water protection value, habitat, and scenic values in the Goose Bay region.
  • Adjoining the Broudy property on Goose Bay is the approximately 27-acre Weisberg property. The Weisberg property boasts a rolling, mature forested habitat adjacent to the north Goose Bay wetland complex. The forests are interspersed with undulating rock outcrops and vernal pools with coastal wetlands on its western boundary. The property also features substantial undeveloped road frontage along Route 12.
  • The Wilton parcel is approximately 182 acres and features 50 acres of New York State DEC Class 1 wetland (about 36 acres from the National Wetland Inventory), with 5,000 feet of frontage along Crooked Creek in the Town of Alexandria. The property features mature white pine and oak forests bordered by early-successional shrubland, in addition to a manmade wetland/pond installed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners Program. The Wilton property falls between TILT's Crooked Creek Preserve and TILT's Butterfield Marsh Preserve.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is increasing investments for clean water infrastructure projects, including the State's unprecedented $3.5 billion commitment to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to clean water. As part of the State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), the WQIP supports projects to improve water quality, reduce the potential for harmful algal blooms (HABs), and protect drinking water across the state. DEC has announced more than $37 million for 37 land acquisition projects to date. In addition to land acquisition projects for source water protection, WQIP grants are awarded for municipal wastewater treatment, nonagricultural nonpoint source abatement and control, salt storage, and aquatic habitat restoration.

aerial view of river surrounded by pine trees
182-acre Wilton property. Photo courtesy of TILT

aerial view of river surrounded by fall foliage
182-acre Wilton property. Photo courtesy of TILT

Aerial view of river with lush green trees surrounding
27-acre Weisberg property. Photo courtesy of Feather in Flight Productions

aerial view of marshy river with lush green trees surrounding
319-acre Broudy property. Photo courtesy of Feather in Flight Productions

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