Dedication of $7.6 Million Whitney Point Lake Project at Dorchester Park

 

WHITNEY POINT, N.Y. – The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) were joined today by Senator Tom Libous, Assemblyman Gary Finch, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, Broome County Executive Barbara Fiala and Broome County Legislator Ronald Keibel to dedicate the Whitney Point Lake modification project at the Whitney Point Lake Reservoir, Dorchester Park, Broome County, N.Y. 
 
Funding sources for the $7.6 million project included $5 million from USACE and $2 million from New York state’s budget as delivered by Senator Libous.  Today marks the completion of the project, which was initiated 12 years ago by SRBC, as the non-federal partner, to adopt new operations at the lake for environmental restoration purposes, and to provide significant recreational, ecosystem and economic enhancements for Broome County and the region.  
 
“With the modifications completed, the current summer lake level will be maintained year-round, allowing for water to be released from the lake during low flow periods when aquatic ecosystems are stressed,” said SRBC Executive Director Paul Swartz. “Releases of water from Whitney Point Lake during times of low flows will be substantial to relieve stresses on the Otselic, Tioughnioga, Chenango and Susquehanna Rivers.” 
 
Among the environmental benefits, USACE enhanced an existing 20-acre wetland area in the north end of the lake, including constructing escape channels and deep pools for fish, creating waterfowl nesting areas and installing fish habitat structures. Wetland vegetation also will be planted starting next week. 
 
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is deeply committed to habitat protection and restoration and working in partnership with local, state, and regional stakeholders to achieve these goals,” said Col. Peter Mueller, Commander, Baltimore District USACE and SRBC Alternate Federal Commissioner. “The supplemental flows from Whitney Point Lake will reduce stresses on the ecosystem, protect susceptible aquatic species and increase the population of others, including fish, amphibians and mammals.”
 
The project included numerous construction activities to significantly enhance recreational opportunities. The new amenities in Dorchester Park include improvements to beaches, swim areas and boat ramps; restrooms and bathhouse; roads and parking lots; and electrical, water and waste treatment systems. 
 
“The addition of a new boat launch and new facilities here at Dorchester Park has greatly enhanced this recreational area,” said County Executive Fiala.  “This project, carried out by the Army Corps of Engineers, renewed our grounds while also improving our waterways.  Dorchester Park is a jewel in our county and now there are even more amenities for all to enjoy.  I want to thank Senator Tom Libous and the Army Corp of Engineers for their work to fund and carryout this important project.”
 
 
Key Web Sites
Susquehanna River Basin Commission: www.srbc.net
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: www.nab.usace.army.mil
Whitney Point Lake Section 1135 Project Modification: www.srbc.net/whitpoint_proj.htm
Whitney Point Lake general, USACE: www.nab.usace.army.mil/recreation/whitney.htm
Broome County Department of Parks and Recreation, Dorchester Park: http://www.gobroomecounty.com/parks/dorchester
 
 
 
Whitney Point Lake is a reservoir behind the Whitney Point Dam on the Otselic River near the Village of Whitney Point in Broome County, N.Y. The 95-foot high dam was constructed in the late 1930s and early 1940s (operationally complete in 1942) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) primarily for flood control purposes. The lake has a total storage capacity of 86,500 acre-feet, of which 74,000 acre-feet are currently dedicated to flood control.  Whitney Point Lake is one of 13 USACE reservoir projects in the Susquehanna basin.  
 
Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
 
Within the North Atlantic region, Baltimore District supports the Civil Works missions of flood damage reduction, navigation, shoreline protection and ecosystem restoration. In addition, the district supports large-scale renovation programs such as technological research facilities, designing and cleaning formerly used defense sites and civilian sites, protecting and regulating wetlands and waters of the United States, and performing the unique mission of providing drinking water to the District of Columbia, Arlington County and Falls Church, Va.    
 
Susquehanna River Basin Commission
 
SRBC – headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa. – is the governing agency established under a 100-year compact signed on December 24, 1970, by the federal government and the states of New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland to protect and wisely manage the water resources of the Susquehanna River Basin. The Susquehanna River starts in Cooperstown, N.Y., and flows 444 miles to Havre de Grace, Md., where the river meets the Chesapeake Bay.  

 

05/29/2009 - 4:02pm