The Long Island central Pine Barrens, with its current core preservation area stretching to 53,000 acres, is an ecologically unique and significant region that is essential in purifying Long Island’s drinking water. This legislation expands the core preservation area to encompass two adjacent tracts of environmentally sensitive lands.
Long Island’s waters face numerous threats, including those from industrial development. By preserving additional lands, there are fewer opportunities for pollution and more opportunities to protect and restore water quality. One of the complexes proposed for adoption in the core preservation area would encompass property in the Forge River watershed – one of the most significantly impaired waterbodies on Long Island. Preserving this land would prevent further pollution of this waterbody.
Adding these tracts to the core preservation area would also protect crucial habitat for the threatened Northern Long-eared Bat, as well as dozens of native animal species.
Protecting the land that overlies Long Island’s sole source aquifer is vital for the 1.8 million residents that rely on it. This legislation ensures further protection of this water source as well as Long Island’s diverse ecology.
This bill amends the environmental conservation law to expand the core preservation area of the Central Pine Barrens.