ENHANCED RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES & PUBLIC ACCESS PLAN
for the UPPER EAST BRANCH of the DELAWARE RIVER
This project is intended to advance water quality and economic development recommendations included in the East Branch Delaware River Stream Management Plan developed by the Delaware County Soil & Water Conservation District and the NYCDEP Stream Management Program and partners with public input.
The Plan has been endorsed by the Towns of Middletown, Roxbury and Andes, and the Villages of Fleischmanns and Margaretville. This project, supported by a Delaware Stream Management Program Grant, will also contribute directly to meeting certain goals of the New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (January 1997), which seeks to protect the quality of the water supply for nine million New Yorkers while preserving the social character and enhancing the economic vitality of communities within the Catskill-Delaware Watershed.
The Water Discovery Center, a world-class exhibition, education and research center proposed for a site on the East Branch in the Town of Middletown, is the sponsor of this project. The WDC is dedicated to understanding regional, national and global fresh water issues, challenges and solutions. The Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce has agreed to administer this project in concert with the Water Discovery Center.
- Survey and identify current public access sites, and collect data on signage, parking and amenities; map the locations.
- Identify potential access sites for a variety of uses and describe potential networks of access points or activity locations.
- Document current ownership of potential access points on private lands; identify issues and concerns of private landowners; Draft Good Neighbor Policy for Public Access Use of Private Land
- Identify specific access points and viability of creating wetlands, walkways and nature trails at WDC site; Offer a plan that would develop the site into an “Exploration” destination.
- Identify specific access points in and around Village of Margaretville for multi-generational waterfront enjoyment.
- Identify potential collaborating partners and linkages to businesses that support the recreational opportunities, sport shops, guides, restaurants, lodging
- Develop a plan to update signage for ease of public information and directions; propose new informational kiosks, brochures, website, and amenities.
- Prepare a Final Report with recommendations for action item implementation. Present report with project sponsors at a public meeting.
- Assist in the preparation of a grant application to DCS&WCD seeking implementation funding (Phase 2 of the Project)
We had hoped to have this planning project culminate by the end of 2011 which would allow the municipalities to apply for funding (the implementation phase as part the this effort funded by the Delaware County Soil & Water Conservation District in partnership with NYCDEP) in early 2012.
Due to the unprecedented impacts caused by Tropical Storm Irene to communities such as Fleischmanns, Roxbury, Arkville, and Margaretville. this project has been delayed. It it our intention to have this planning phase completed by this Fall so as the local municipalities can apply for funding in 2013.