Funds Secured to Protect Lake Ontario Shore (NY)

Rochester, NY: December 2, 2002: The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and Monroe County Executive Jack Doyle announced today that funding for the acquisition of 35 acres of natural land along Lake Ontario in the Town of Parma, Monroe County, NY has been secured.

The property, located approximately ten miles west of Rochester, consists of freshwater wetlands and coastal forest, with 1,400 feet, or one-quarter-mile of lakeshore frontage. The property provides critical habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including neotropical songbirds that use the property during seasonal migrations.

The Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization, negotiated the agreement to purchase the property from a private landowner. “Without this bipartisan, federal-state-county partnership, the acquisition of the Parma site would not be possible,” said Clark Wallace, project manager for TPL.

The property has long been a high priority for preservation. In 1996, the Monroe County Environmental Management Council identified the property as an acquisition candidate in its “Preservation of Environmentally Sensitive Areas” (PESA) report. The property is also listed as an acquisition priority in New York State’s Open Space Conservation Plan, which guides the state’s land acquisitions. The property is vulnerable to residential development and had been approved for the development of seven estate-style homes.

“This project will preserve a vulnerable 35-acre parcel of environmentally sensitive property along Lake Ontario that could be threatened by future residential development,” said County Executive Jack Doyle. “This property is a perfect fit for the county’s Green Space Initiative and I applaud the efforts by the Trust for Public Land and the many governmental agencies that worked together to make this project a success.”

Funding for the $865,000 purchase came from the Federal Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program ($348,700), State Great Lakes Watershed Restoration Program ($226,125), Monroe County Green Space Initiative ($226,125), and the Monroe County Water Authority ($64,050).

The Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) is a new program created by Congress in 2001. In the program’s first year out, Congress funded over $15 million in acquisitions, including this acquisition. Overseen by NOAA, this program makes grants to state and local governments to acquire open space in a state’s coastal zone. This project was strongly supported by members of the New York Congressional delegation, including Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Hillary Clinton, and Congressman John LaFalce.

“Lake Ontario is an environmental treasure and I am glad I could help secure federal funding to protect and maintain it,” said Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY. This funding will ensure that its beauty and variety of wildlife will be preserved for years to come.”

In a statement to Monroe County, Congressman LaFalce said “I am so pleased that I was able to assist in making this property acquisition possible. The acquisition will help preserve ecologically sensitive land along Lake Ontario for future generations to enjoy.”

County Executive Doyle also thanked Governor George E. Pataki for his support of the project through the $226,126 state grant administered by the Department of State, saying “Once again, the Governor has shown his support and commitment to helping Monroe County.”

The Monroe County Water Authority, under the leadership of Executive Director John Stanwix, committed funds in an effort to help protect and preserve the waterfront located between its Brockport and Shoremont Water Treatment plants, which draw water from Lake Ontario.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit organization that conserves land for people to improve the quality of life in our communities and to protect our natural and historic resources for future generations. Founded in 1972, TPL specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiation, conservation finance, and law to protect land for public use and enjoyment. To date, TPL has protected more than 61,000 acres in New York, including 5,300 acres along Lake Ontario.