New York State’s waterfronts are exciting and diverse – from Niagara Falls to Montauk Point; from New York Harbor to the lakes of the Catskills and the Adirondacks; from the Delaware River to the Finger Lakes; and from the Hudson River and the Canal system to the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. With ninety percent of the state’s population and a wide variety of economic activities concentrated in the communities along its waterfronts - from the largest cities to the smallest hamlets – the waterfront plays a vital role in the lives of New Yorkers.
More and more people are recognizing that their waterfronts can bring new life and energy to their communities. They are doing this by creating new economic activity, redeveloping historic and abandoned structures, improving waterfront recreation, and restoring and protecting natural resources. They have found that the keys to making the most of their waterfront assets include a clear vision and plan, broad public involvement, creative partnerships, patience, persistence and a step-by-step strategy.
The Waterfront Revitalization of Coastal Areas and Inland Waterways Act is the statutory authority coordinating all actions affecting New York State’s coastal area and designated inland waterways. This law finds that the social and economic well-being and the general welfare of the people of the state are critically dependent upon the preservation, enhancement, protection, development and use of the natural and man-made resources of the state's coastal area and inland waterways.