This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Town of Southampton Nature Preserve."
The purpose of this chapter is to establish a Town Nature Preserve so that certain Town-owned properties can be protected.
Due to the growth of the population and the development of the economy in the Town, all Town-owned properties, except those that are expressly designated by law for preservation and protection in their natural condition, are subject to alteration by human activity. It is necessary and desirable that portions of the Town's natural diversity be set aside as natural areas for the benefit of present and future generations in order to achieve the following objectives:
Heritage. To protect natural areas which provide living museums of the original heritage of the Town and contribute to the public health and welfare of the inhabitants. Rural ambience and environmental quality have traditionally contributed to the Town's economic base and continue to provide economic opportunity to the residents of the Town.
Environmental quality. To protect the existing natural areas and, where desirable, to promote an improved environmental quality of natural areas in the Town, including but not limited to critical environmental areas, significant coastal fish and wildlife habitats and unique site types.
Habitat for aquatic and upland ecological communities. To preserve ecosystems and the rich diversity of flora and fauna living thereon, including rare, threatened, endangered and protected species.
Unique geological features. To protect the diversity of unique geological features found within the Town, including beaches, dunes, bluffs, hoodoos, swales, kettleholes, kames, morainal highlands and outwash plains.
Wetlands. To protect wetlands as a means of flood control, water purification and breeding and nursery grounds for shellfish, finfish and other aquatic flora and fauna.
Recreational, educational and scientific opportunities. To provide opportunities for wilderness-like experiences, diverse recreational activities and environmental educational programs and academic research programs.
Buffer areas. To provide buffer areas to existing natural areas.
Watershed areas. To protect watershed areas critical to recharging precipitation into the Town's sole-source aquifer or maintaining surface water quality.
It is, therefore, the public policy of the Town to secure for the people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of natural areas by establishing a Town Nature Preserve and to provide for the protection of the Town-owned properties placed within the Nature Preserve.
The following words and expressions, where used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them by this section:
- The Town of Southampton Environmental Advisory Committee.
- The process by which any Town-owned property shall be included within the Town of Southampton Nature Preserve in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 231-5.
- The Town of Southampton Department of Land Management.[Amended 8-23-1996 by L.L. No. 30-1996]
- NATURE PRESERVE
- Any area of land or water owned by the Town which is formally dedicated to being maintained as nearly as possible in its natural condition; said area either retains, to some degree, its primeval character (though it need not be completely natural and undisturbed at the time of its dedication) or has endangered, threatened, special concern or rare species of flora or fauna, unique geological or hydrogeological features, wetlands or features of scientific or educational value; and which area is used in a manner and under limitations consistent with its continued preservation, without impairment, disturbance or artificial development, for the public purposes of scientific research, watershed preservation, aquifer protection, education and aesthetic enjoyment and providing a habitat for plant and animal species and communities and other natural objectives.
- The official list of Town-owned properties that have been dedicated to the Nature Preserve.
- The Town of Southampton, located within the County of Suffolk, State of New York.
- TOWN BOARD
- The duly elected and constituted legislative body of the Town of Southampton.