A partnership of the Rensselaer Land Trust, the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance, and the Agricultural Stewardship Association are pleased to announce that New York State, through its Water Quality Improvement Source Water Protection Program has awarded a grant of $1.5 million to the partnership.
The program funded by the grant will protect important lands that provide water to the Tomhannock Reservoir, which is the drinking water source for over 135,000 people in the Capital Region. A match of $500,000 in private contributions will make this a $2 million program of land protection to benefit all users of drinking water from the Tomhannock Reservoir. The partnership will receive funds as reimbursement as the project proceeds.
The three accredited land trusts will partner on the project as part of the Regional Economic Development Council’s Consolidated Funding Application. Workshops will be held in the spring of 2018 with interested landowners in Rensselaer County. The program will be ongoing for three years, and may include both the acquisition of development rights (voluntary conservation agreements) or land purchases where appropriate on lands significant for source water protection.
“We are very excited about having funding to implement meaningful source water protection,” says Rensselaer Land Trust Board President Kristina Younger. “Maintaining water quality starts with the land.” The Rensselaer Land Trust will administer the grant and be the lead partner.
"This is a win for the landowners, a win for the people who drink Troy’s water and a win for the people of the county in general. I am looking forward to working with the community to protect one of Rensselaer County’s greatest assets – the clean water from the Tomhannock Reservoir” says Rensselaer Plateau Alliance President Fred DeMay.
“Protecting this critical natural resource is important to the ASA”, says Agricultural Stewardship Association Board Chair Katherine Roome. “We are proud to collaborate on this project to advance the mission of all three organizations.”
“Protecting our drinking water supplies is vital to the health and safety of our residents I am proud to have supported this initiative and very gratified that the necessary funding has been awarded,” stated Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino.
About Rensselaer Land Trust
Rensselaer Land Trust’s mission is to conserve the open spaces, watersheds and natural habitats of Rensselaer County, for the benefit of our communities and future generations. RLT Celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2017. For more information see: http://www.renstrust.org or call 518-659-LAND (5263).
About Rensselaer Plateau Alliance
The Rensselaer Plateau Alliance (RPA), established in 2006, is a diverse group of organizations and people who want to conserve the forested character of the Rensselaer Plateau and the many economic and environmental benefits it provides. A grassroots organization, the RPA is people living in the area who share a common interest in ensuring that future generations will experience and value the many benefits of the plateau. Visit www.rensselaerplateau.org to learn more.
About Agricultural Stewardship Association
ASA was founded 27 years ago as a non-profit land trust focusing on farmland conservation in Washington and Rensselaer counties. Today, ASA has conserved nearly 18,000 acres on 114 farms. For more information visit www.agstewardship.org