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Westchester Land Trust Acquires Mamaroneck's Otter Preserve

The Otter Creek Preserve in Mamaroneck.
The Otter Creek Preserve in Mamaroneck. Photo Credit: Contributed

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Westchester Land Trust (WLT) in Bedford Hills announced on Saturday the acquisition of the 35-acre Otter Creek Preserve in the Village of Mamaroneck .

WLT acquired the preserve, along Taylor’s Lane off Boston Post Road, as part of a transfer from The Nature Conservancy completed this month. Otter Creek represents WLT’s largest preserve in Southern Westchester, and the most ecologically diverse of its 29 land-holdings. The Otter Creek Preserve is the largest privately-owned tidal wetland designated and protected as a nature sanctuary in Westchester County.

It was also designated a Geologic Area of Particular Concern by the State Department of Environmental Conservation in 1978 and shortly thereafter, the Village of Mamaroneck declared it a Critical Environmental Site. The Preserve is along a three-mile stretch of coastline on the Long Island Sound within which is found 90 percent of the remaining productive salt marshes in Westchester County.

"The Otter Creek Preserve, with its unique landscape and critical role that it plays in the health of Long Island Sound, is a stunning oasis in the middle of densely populated Southern Westchester,” said Lori J. Ensinger, WLT's president.  “We are honored to take on the responsibility of caring for this natural treasure in perpetuity.” The Conservancy’s original acquisition of Otter Creek began as and has remained a true community project.

“Early on, its neighbors recognized the ecological importance of this saltwater tidal marsh and freshwater tributary on the Long Island Sound, and it was their foresight and investment in their community’s natural resources that catalyzed the creation of the Otter Creek Preserve in 1973,” said Matt Levy, Conservation Lands manager, The Nature Conservancy in Eastern New York.

Although the vast majority of Long Island Sound’s natural shoreline that historically characterized this portion of lower Westchester has vanished, the Otter Creek Preserve remains, giving visitors a sense of the area’s natural heritage and preserving vital wildlife habitat, ecosystem functions and flood control in a densely populated region.

“It is with great confidence and pride that we pass on this legacy of people and nature to its new stewards at the Westchester Land Trust,” said Levy.

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