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Croton River
Village of Croton-on-Hudson E-Notice
Croton River 008 3.jpg

Croton Bay Watershed Compact

To: Croton Bay Watershed Partners in Cortlandt, New Castle and the Ossinings
Fr: Croton River Compact Committee
Re: background packet on the Croton Bay Watershed
Date: September 26, 2006

Croton Bay Watershed Compact
A 35 year dream we can make happen
Unified protection for the whole watershed

In 1972, local residents in Croton, Cortlandt, Town of Ossining, and the Village of Ossining drafted a Compact for the five communities that share the Croton River from the Dam to the Hudson. Now the time for coordinated local action has come. Both New York State and Westchester County are making significant investments to protect estuaries and key water courses such as the 3.5 mile Croton River. We propose to create a new Croton Bay Watershed Compact that protects the Croton River and its entire watershed. Work is well underway.

We welcome your participation in the process of ensuring a healthy watershed and exploring the grounds for an intermunicipal compact.

The county’s Croton Bay Watershed Report will be ready soon to document the baseline condition of watershed’s 3,000 acres. Several local residents serve on its Steering Committee and have helped shape the County’s research with local knowledge. This initial Report is meant as a catalyst for the scope of work on actual improvements in the watershed. Much of the real work lies in untangling the myriad local, county and state regulations that often talk past one another.

Our goal is a comprehensive watershed conservation plan, ÒThe Croton Bay Watershed Compact,Ó among the towns of Cortlandt, New Castle, Ossining and villages of Ossining and Croton-on-Hudson and the other non-municipal jurisdictions in the watershed. The result will be a healthy Croton River for future generations to enjoy.

The Compact will seek to reduce that crazy quilt of inconsistent laws with modern, more uniform land use standards for the estuary’s entire watershed. The underlying code will be based on a pollutant-loading model that will allow development while ensuring water quality, public access, ecosystem stability and biodiversity.  

The following entities have some level of jurisdiction over or enforcement role in the parcels that comprise this 3,000 acre watershed. These stakeholders are known collectively as The Croton Bay Watershed Partnership.

1.      New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
2.      New York City Department of Environmental Protection
3.      Westchester County Department of Parks
4.      New York State Police Troop K
5.      Westchester County Police
6.      Metro North Commuter Railroad
7.      Town of Cortlandt
8.      Village of Croton-on-Hudson
9.      Town of New Castle
10.     Town of Ossining
11.     Village of Ossining

We need the following information from the Cortland, New Castle, the Ossinings and Croton to complete the initial Watershed Report. You may be able to help provide this critical baseline information.
1. A list of the property owners and lot lines of those who are located within the Watershed;
2. A zoning map from each municipality showing the zoning districts for each such lot in the watershed;
3. A list of the relevant local laws and codes for steep slopes, watercourse protections and any other zoning provisions that apply to the zones found within the watershed for each municipality.
We need this information by November 15, 2006 from each municipality within the Watershed in order to do adequate background work over the winter. Information should be sent ÒAttention: Croton Bay Watershed CompactÓ at the address listed below.

In addition, we will share the information we gather with numerous non-profits who are working on water quality, sound land use policy and ecosystem sustainability.  Such additional potential advisors for the Partnership include:

1.      Clearwater 
2.      Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition        
3.      Federated Conservationists of Westchester County       
5.      Historic Hudson Valley
6.      Hudsonia
7.      NYS Hudson River Valley Greenway        
8.      Riverkeeper
9.      Riverlovers (a Clearwater affiliate)
10.      Scenic Hudson 
11.     Trout Unlimited        

Thank you and we look forward to receiving your information on lots and zoning and to working with you closely on the Compact.

Croton River Compact Committee: Joel Gingold,  Charlie Kane (Acting Chair and Trustee, Village of Croton-on-Hudson), Paul Kennedy, Nancy Kennedy, Ronald Sanchez, Ken Sargeant, Frederick Turner, Ann Lindau (Councilwoman, Town of Cortlandt).

Croton Bay Watershed Compact    
c/o Charles Kane
Stanley Kellerhouse Municipal Building   t: 914-271-4781
1 Van Wyck Street       f: 914-271-2836
Croton on Hudson NY 10520       

PS A very helpful pamphlet on river navigation rights for kayakers and canoeist is available at the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks website:

1.      Aerial View of the Croton River and Bay Watershed
2.      Tides and River Water Level
3.      Croton River’s No Wake Zone Map
4.      Jurisdiction Junction Jumble: Example and Map (Paradise Island to Firemen’s Island)
5.      Selected recent news coverage (Gazette, Aug 31-Sep 6, 2006, page 1; Journal News, Sept 18, 2006, page 2A-2B; Journal News, Sept 23, 2006, page 6B).
6:   The Croton River as vital Hudson-to-Highlands Connection Corridor