The State Legislature and Governor Cuomo have now decreed that Eighteen Mile Creek in the South Towns is an inland waterway, a designation that could reap important benefits.
The stream weaves across the South Towns before flowing into Lake Erie in Highland-on-the-Lake. It often goes through deep ravines like the one through the Village of Hamburg.
Senator Marc Panepinto says village residents came to him, asking for the inland waterway designation to protect and enhance the creek. Panepinto says the state has millions of dollars available for coastal and waterway improvements and the designation opens that door into the state treasury.
"It's smart legislation from the environmental perspective. We can take the Inland Waterway designation which was legislation that I sponsored and I appreciate the governor signing into law," Panepinto said.
"And, now we can leverage federal money into Eighteen Mile Creek to increase accessibility and make sure that we keep it is as a great recreational asset."
Panepinto says the money can go for anything from a waterway trail to waterfronts. The Buffalo Democrat says he worked with Senate Republicans on getting the legislation he sponsored with Assemblyman Sean Ryan passed, calling it another example of the Western New York delegation working together.