RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Rensselaer Land Trust (RLT) announced Friday the acquisition of two parcels totaling 120 acres for source water protection. These acquisitions are the first of several planned by the RLT using funds from a $1.5 million Water Quality Improvement Project grant.

“Protecting water quality is a top priority for DEC and our land trust partners throughout New York State,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “Working with the Rensselaer Land Trust and the Tomhannock Rural Land Campaign on these critical acquisitions demonstrates our commitment to protecting drinking water sources and open space for thousands of New Yorkers in Rensselaer County and the Capital Region.”

To acquire the parcels, RLT worked with the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance and Agricultural Stewardship Association, a partnership known as the Tomhannock Rural Land Campaign. The two land acquisitions, located in the town of Pittstown, will help protect the Tomhannock Reservoir, which serves as a public drinking water supply for more than 135,000 people in the Capital Region.

“These newly acquired properties will help protect the drinking water of Troy and several other Capital Region communities while at the same time conserving two scenic parcels in Pittstown,” said Rensselaer Land Trust Executive Director John Winter. “RLT is very pleased to be working with DEC and our partners to protect our drinking water and open space.”

Both properties are located upstream of the 1,700-acre Tomhannock Reservoir and woodland and wetland areas. The acquisitions will support protecting source waters by helping to decelerate stormwater runoff and filtering and absorbing pollutants. Using their grant funds, the RLT will work to acquire additional parcels to protect their reservoir in the near future.