6 CRR-NY 664.3NY-CRR
6 CRR-NY 664.3
6 CRR-NY 664.3
664.3 Purposes and approach.
(a) Public policy.
It is the public policy of the State, as set forth in the Freshwater Wetlands Act, to preserve, protect and conserve freshwater wetlands and the benefits derived therefrom, to prevent the despoliation and destruction of wetlands, and to regulate use and development of wetlands to secure the natural benefits of those wetlands, consistent with the general welfare and beneficial economic, social and agricultural development of the State. It is the purpose of this Part to implement that policy by clarifying certain aspects of wetland mapping and delineation of jurisdiction, and by creating a system for classifying wetlands in accordance with section 24-0903(1) of the act. Such a system must take into account the present condition of wetlands as well as their many benefits described below and in section 24-0105(7) of the act.
(b) Wetland benefits.
The preservation, protection and conservation of wetlands is of public concern because of the benefits they provide. These include:
(1) Flood and stormwater control.
Wetlands may slow water runoff and temporarily store water, thus helping to protect downstream areas from flooding. Public health and private property in one part of a watershed may be harmed if wetlands are destroyed in a different part of that watershed.
(2) Wildlife habitat.
Wetlands are of unparalleled value as wildlife habitat, and the perpetuation of scores of species depends upon them. Many of the species are migratory and must have nesting, migration, and wintering habitat. The destruction of one kind of wetland habitat in one place may reduce populations of wildlife elsewhere. Where specific wetlands support endangered species, destruction of those wetlands may threaten the presence of the endangered species for all time.
(3) Water supply.
Wetlands themselves are a source of surface water and may, under appropriate hydrological conditions, serve to recharge groundwater and aquifers and to maintain surface water flow.
(4) Water quality.
Many wetlands serve as chemical and biological oxidation basins that help cleanse water that flows through them. Wetlands can also serve as sedimentation areas and filtering basins that absorb silt and organic matter, thereby protecting channels and harbors and enhancing water quality.
Wetlands provide the spawning and nursery grounds for several species of fish. The availability of these fish in lakes and streams may be adversely affected by the loss of wetlands adjacent to those waters.
(6) Food chains.
Food and organic detritus supplied by wetlands support the fish and wildlife of adjacent waters.
Wetlands provide important hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, birdwatching, photography, camping, and other recreational opportunities. In addition, wetlands may be critical to recreation beyond their own borders because of their ability to protect water quality and protect and produce wildlife and fish.
(8) Open space and aesthetic appreciation.
Wetlands provide visual variety in many different settings. Especially in urban areas, wetland open space contributes to social well-being by providing relief from intense development and a sense of connection with the natural world.
(9) Education and scientific research.
Because of the high biological productivity and the variety of plant and animal species they can support, wetlands can be of broad social benefit in providing outdoor laboratories and living classrooms for studying and appreciating natural history, ecology and biology. Many of the lessons learned and principles evolved through study of wetlands are applicable to other eviron-mental issues.
6 CRR-NY 664.3
Current through September 30, 2021
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