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Proposed South Bay Creek and Marsh Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat

On June 15, 2011, the Department of State (DOS) proposed to designate major portions of the South Bay as a Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat (SCFWH).

The map prepared by the South Bay Task Force shows the proposed SCFWH boundary, still in draft form. The Task Force map is based on a DOS topographic map which accompanies a draft memorandum.

This new designation would provide the South Bay with the same level of protection as Stockport Creek and Flats SCFWH, and all such designated habitats throughout New York State.

The South Bay would be integrated into a regional system of primary habitats which is rated by the state, and entitled to the highest level of protection, as encompassed by CMP Policy 7.

 
FISH AND WILDLIFE POLICIES POLICY 7 SIGNIFICANT COASTAL FISH AND WILDLIFE HABITATS WILL BEPROTECTED, PRESERVED, AND WHERE PRACTICAL, RESTORED SO AS TO MAINTAIN THEIR VIABILITY AS HABITATS.

 

South Bay Task Force members have worked diligently towards this specific outcome, providing ecological field data to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the New York Natural Heritage Preserve (NYNHP), and the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve (HRNERR).

 
Among the SBTF's contributions has been the NYS Threatened Heartleaf Plantain (Plantago cordata), the NYNHP-listed Alewife Floater (Anodonta implicata), and the floater's host species the Blueback Herring (Alosa aestivalis), a National Marine Fisheries Service "Species of Concern."
 
Some Task Force data has not yet been incorporated into the DOS draft, and will only add further support to the designation.
 
To learn more about these discoveries and their implications, go to the South Bay Task Force website Documents page at http://hudsonsouthbay.com/?page_id=451.  There you can review in their entirety  two "newly discovered information" letters, dated March 6 and May 17, 2011, which were addressed to the Department of State as well as to the Hudson Common Council.
 
There will be further updates on this proposed designation on the Friends of Hudson list and the South Bay Task Force website http://hudsonsouthbay.com/.
 
In the meantime, notice how the proposed boundaries follow the South Bay creek, connect the West and East basins of the South Bay, cross a large section of the earthen dam (variously known as the former railroad right-of-way and "causeway"), extend to the southern edge of the L&B property and beyond, and integrate marshland on both sides of Route 9. 
 
Public comments on the proposed designation can be sent the NYS Department of State through August 15. 
 

Stephanie Wojtowicz
Department of State
Division of Coastal Resources
99 Washington Avenue, Suite 1010
Albany, NY 12231
(518) 486-7641
Stephanie.Wojtowicz@dos.state.ny.us