The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT), and The Wetland Trust (TWT) have announced the permanent protection of 43 acres along the Cayuga Lake inlet, just south of Ithaca in the Finger Lakes town of Newfield, Tompkins County.
The project was funded in part through the state’s Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program which directly improves water quality or aquatic habitat, promotes flood risk reduction, restoration, and enhanced flood and climate resiliency, or protects a drinking water source.
The FLLT acquired the 43-acre property using a portion of a $921,000 WQIP grant awarded by DEC in December 2018. Following closing, the property was conveyed to TWT with a deed restriction that limits the use of the land to protect water quality in the inlet. The property features more than 5,000 feet of undeveloped frontage on the Cayuga Inlet as well as wetlands that filter runoff to the inlet and Cayuga Lake.
Protection of this property helps prevent development that would disrupt critical buffers along the inlet. Natural vegetated buffers along streams and wetlands are particularly important as they can filter and absorb pollutants from stormwater that could otherwise enter the waterbody.
Protection of this property also adds to a growing network of conserved lands in this area. The FLLT currently owns two nature preserves that border the inlet – the Tapan Mitra Preserve in Ithaca and the Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve in West Danby.
Cayuga Lake Inlet photo courtesy of Finger Lakes Land Trust.