09/03/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/03/2021 12:52
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a $3.2 million project to revitalize the Coxsackie State Boat Launch and Riverside Park on the Hudson River in Greene County. The project will be the first state boat launch to be renewed under the Hudson Eagles Recreation Area, an initiative to improve public access and resiliency on the wild stretch of the Hudson River between Albany and Kingston and enhance connections to the waterfront communities in the region.
'The Upper Hudson River Estuary, a 60-mile stretch of the Hudson River from Albany to Kingston, is a globally significant ecological and recreational asset,' Governor Hochul said. 'The Hudson Eagles Recreation Area offers the opportunity to create a destination unlike any other, a water-based linear park that will draw more people to the Hudson River and better connect communities to the waterfront and waterway travelers, starting with the Village of Coxsackie. In addition, new improvements to the Ferry Landing Fishing Access Site on the eastern shore of the Hudson are already bringing more local residents and visitors alike down to the river to experience nature.'
Governor Hochul also announced the completion $900,000 in improvements for the Ferry Landing Fishing Access Site across the Hudson River in the Columbia County town of Stuyvesant, which complements the Hudson Eagles Recreation Area project. The popular site provides public access for fishing within the Stockport component site of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Renovation of the Coxsackie State Boat Launch and Riverside Park, which serve as the central public square in the village, will enhance the ongoing revitalization of the village. Construction is scheduled to begin September 7 and be completed by spring 2022. Public access to the site will be closed during construction.
Site improvements will include:
The project will renovate and modernize the existing boat launch with new floating gangways and docks to make launching easier; a new ADA-compliant kayak launch; and added space for transient boater tie-ups. Environmental improvements include a new boat wash station to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species, a rain garden to control stormwater, electric vehicle charging station, and LED lighting fixtures.
The Hudson Eagles Recreation Area designates a new State Recreation area, focused on water-based access and experiences. Under the initiative, five additional state boat launches - at Coxsackie State Boat Launch, Schodack Island State Park, Crailo State Historic Site, Athens State Boat Launch, Hudson State Boat Launch - will receive upgrades, expanding access for boating, fishing, and wildlife observation.
Pocket park amenities will also be added, including picnic areas, gazebos, ample seating, and signage about nearby local amenities. Additionally, in Kingston, New York State is partnering with Scenic Hudson to create a new 500-acre state park on the Hudson River. The sites will be linked with shared branding, educational materials, and website. Future improvements are contingent on voter approval of the $3 billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, which will be included on the ballot in 2022.
'This project is an exciting first step in better developing the recreational and educational potential of the Hudson River,' State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. 'New York State's work to foster cleaner air and water, and protect open space, has helped lead to the return of growing numbers of bald eagles to Hudson River Valley. The Hudson Eagles Recreation Area will celebrate this tremendous environmental accomplishment, improve access for active recreational groups, increase resiliency, and inspire more New Yorkers to appreciate and protect their natural world.'
'The Hudson River's impressive diversity of fish and wildlife and majestic natural scenery draw anglers to its waters no matter the season,' Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said. 'The upgrades to the Ferry Landing Fishing Access Site announced today will provide safe and convenient access to the Hudson River for anglers of all abilities. These enhancements are designed to better serve all visitors who want to enjoy New York's great outdoors and complement the Hudson Eagles Recreation Area, by bringing more visitors to the riverfront to enjoy this spectacular natural resource.'
Improvements to the DEC Ferry Landing Fishing Access Site
Funding for the Ferry Landing Fishing Access Site was provided by the State's Adventure NY initiative to connect more New Yorkers with nature. Upgrades will provide visitors with safe, accessible fishing opportunities while helping to prevent the continued erosion of the shoreline. Enhancements include:
Village of Coxsackie Mayor Mark Evans said 'The Village of Coxsackie is very pleased to see a much-needed renovation occur at Riverside Park. The new pavilion, expanded dock space, kayak launch and improved walkways are just some of the items that residents have told us over the years that they would like to see added to the park. This will spur on the already successful weekly Farmers' Market, Riverside Festival, weekly music in the park series and generate more boat and watercraft traffic to the docks and downtown.'
Evans went on to say 'We want to thank the State Parks for working with us and allowing us to have input into the features and design. This upgrade will allow for more access and expanded use of the park for the next generation and ties into the waterfront re-development occurring in the downtown Coxsackie area.'
Senator Michelle Hinchey said, 'Revitalizing the Coxsackie State Boat Launch and Riverside Park to its fullest potential is a critical effort that will enhance public access to the incredible range of nature-based activities our region has to offer and strengthen economic ties to our local business community. Now more than ever, we recognize the immense value of our parks and recreation spaces as areas that advance the health and well-being of our upstate communities and the overall economic and environmental vitality of our region. I am thrilled that this project is moving forward so this beautiful stretch of land and river can continue to be enjoyed by our Greene County community for years to come.'
Assembly Member Chris Tague said, 'This project is a welcome one that will increase the utility and enjoyability of the Coxsackie State Boat Launch and Riverside Park for families throughout the region, and make it more resilient to wear and tear so that future generations can continue to enjoy all it has to offer. I am particularly excited about the addition of a pavilion that will give the park a greater ability to host farmers markets and other special events, giving the community opportunities to come together and see what local farmers, craftsmen, and businesses have to offer.'
John Lipscomb, Riverkeeper patrol boat captain and Vice President for Advocacy, said, 'Riverkeeper applauds this initiative by New York State to improve Riverside Park and the boat launch at Coxsackie. These improvements, and similar projects planned for the upper Hudson River estuary, amount to a truly grand initiative by New York State Parks - to create the Hudson Eagles Recreation Area. Once implemented, the Recreation Area will foster much greater access and public appreciation for the wild, northern third of the Hudson River Estuary. That, in turn, will build greater public awareness and support for much needed environmental and ecological protection. It's wonderful when both the public and the river we all love benefit simultaneously. Riverkeeper looks forward to supporting this important state initiative in any way we can.'
Ned Sullivan, President of Scenic Hudson, said, 'The Hudson Eagles Recreation Area highlights the natural habitats and spectacular scenic quality of the stretch of the Hudson River between Kingston and Albany. Scenic Hudson applauds the work of the New York State Office of Parks in making these vital investments in infrastructure to make the Hudson Eagles Recreation Area more accessible and enjoyable to the public.'
The Coxsackie State Boat Launch project is part of the NY Parks 100 initiative, a $440 million capital investment over four years to mark centennial of State Parks Act in 2024. The goals of NY Parks 100 are to address overcrowding, promote visitation by underserved communities, enhance local recreation and tourism, and protect environmental and historic assets.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 78 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.