The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) have announced it has established a perpetual conservation easement on a priority parcel in the Six Mile Creek watershed in the town of Dryden, Tompkins County.
The easement will help protect public water supplies in the city of Ithaca and was funded in part through the State’s Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program.
DEC awarded FLLT a $641,250 WQIP grant to help protect the Six Mile Creek Watershed. The Trust’s overall project will result in at least 190 acres of permanently protected lands, including stream banks on Six Mile Creek and its tributaries, and help preserve water quality in the region. Erosion rates, sediment load, and the high flow velocities of Six Mile Creek continue to threaten water quality, making the drinking water supply vulnerable to contamination.
The Boris Conservation Easement was acquired using a portion of the State’s WQIP grant to FLLT. This 13.5-acre easement in the town of Dryden includes a seven-acre environmental protection zone that will preserve the riparian buffer and 1,100 feet of frontage on Six Mile Creek. FLLT, working with Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District, will be restoring the riparian buffer to prevent potential contaminants from entering the creek. Permanently conserving watershed lands through legal easement is a cost-effective way to protect Ithaca’s drinking water supply.