Supervisor George Hoehmann has announced that the Town of Clarkstown is the recipient of a $67,500 grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). This funding, drawn from the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), is earmarked for a vital initiative aimed at tackling invasive plant species that have beleaguered Congers Lake Memorial Park.
Congers Lake, a cherished local natural resource, has been suffering under the onslaught of invasive water chestnuts among other dense, non-native vegetation. This aggressive overgrowth not only deprives native aquatic plants of sunlight, leading to their decline, but also significantly reduces the oxygen levels in the water. Such conditions pose a severe threat to the survival of indigenous fish species, disrupting the lake’s ecological balance.
The grant is a critical component of a broader, multi-year project designed to restore Congers Lake’s ecological health. Scheduled to commence this spring, the initiative will involve meticulous efforts to remove the harmful vegetation that has choked the lake, thereby safeguarding its future. This intervention underscores the town’s commitment to preserving its natural landscapes and ensuring the longevity of its aquatic ecosystems.
Funding for the grant comes through the EPF, a pivotal New York State program that supports a wide range of environmental projects. These include land conservation, farmland protection, initiatives against invasive species, improvements to recreation and access, water quality enhancement, and environmental justice efforts. The Invasive Species Grant Program, managed by the DEC’s Bureau of Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health within the Division of Lands and Forests, plays a crucial role in funding efforts to prevent and eradicate invasive species across the state.