Sandy Pond Channel Maintenance Association
P.O. Box 686
Sandy Creek, NY  13145

NYS Senator Patty Ritchie
Assemblyman Will Barclay

Our Association was formed in 2003 to maintain the channel into Lake Ontario.  With years of shifting sand, the channel became impassable.  We have been able to line up several years of dredge projects when needed and we do not dredge when there is a safe passable channel. 
We have had several changes to our permits during this time frame and we are now able to dredge mechanically, this is more costly but removes more sand quicker and we placed it back on the barrier beach.   This technique has been most beneficial to our natural habitat.  With the funding and help from Senator Patty Ritchie and the Town of Sandy Creek, the barrier beach was built up in 2012 and the natural habitat attracted the Piping Plover.  This is an endangered bird which is nesting on the south side of the channel, where the bird sanctuary is located. 
If the channel closes off due to our inability to dredge because of the plovers, our pond will suffer in the recreational boating that maintains 7 marinas on the pond, several campgrounds,restaurants and it an exceptionally beautiful tourism attraction for thousands of boaters.  The property tax base which supports the Town of Sandy Creek would diminish.  The sales tax revenue that boosts Oswego County would also diminish. 
We are asking that everyone who uses the channel or cares about the future of Sandy Pond to send this letter back to SPCMA, so that we can show the US Fish and Wildlife and the Corps of Engineers the importance of dredging to our channel as soon as the ice is out or reasonably close to that.  The DEC office is in full support of our changes.  Our permit dates to dredge allow us to dredge September 1st to March 31st.   The window for the plover season usually starts in April and we can start dredging again July 15th.  With the stipulations of the permits we have to survey the barrier beach 1 week prior to dredging and 7-10 days into our dredge project.  If the plovers are seen, we are to halt all dredge progress. 
We are asking for the permitting agencies to realize the importance of maintaining the channel for our recreation season and also respect the piping plover’s habitat. 
It is not our intent to disturb the natural habitat or be disruptive of the bird sanctuary, only to have several weeks so that we can dredge a channel.
Thank you for your attention to this important cause.
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