Albany, NY — Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt (R,C,I,LBT,SAM - New Windsor), today, released the following statement after Governor Hochul signed into law two bills he sponsored and passed during the 2022 legislative session.
The legislation, A.9780/S.8969 and A.09786/S.09354, amends New York State Executive Law to define Otter Kill Creek and Black Meadow Creek in Orange County as part of the state’s inland waterway system.
Otter Kill Creek is a 16-mile-long waterway flowing through central Orange County that eventually runs into the Hudson River. Black Meadow Creek is a 9.7-mile-long tributary of the Otter Kill.
With their new designation as inland waterways, Otter Kill Creek and Black Meadow Creek are now eligible for grants through the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. The program works in partnership with waterfront communities to improve water quality and natural areas, guide development to areas with adequate infrastructure and services away from sensitive resources, and promote public waterfront access.
Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt stated, “I am proud that these important bills were given final approval by the governor to secure key resources which will preserve the waterways for years to come. Through bipartisan efforts, the laws will open up greater opportunities for Otter Kill Creek and Black Meadow Creek that benefit all residents and our local environment through grant funding, resources, and conservation opportunities.”
Bob Courtenay, Chester Town Councilman stated, “Chester can always count on the determined efforts of Assemblyman Colin Schmitt. Gaining the official designation of a NYS inland waterway for both Otter Kill Creek and Black Meadow Creek will ensure Orange County residents can safely access the areas for generations to come."
Orange County Land Trust Board President Lewis Lain stated, “Protecting water quality in the Moodna Creek watershed is vital to residents and wildlife. We applaud Assemblyman Schmitt for his hard work in securing the official inland waterway designation for the Otter Kill and Black Meadow creeks.”