Army Corps releases final East Sidney Lake Master Plan; includes enhanced infrastructure framework

Published Oct. 10, 2019

EASY SIDNEY LAKE, N.Y. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the new East Sidney Lake Master Plan that will serve as a guiding document for decision making at the lake for the next 15 to 25 years.

The revised Master Plan provides a framework for consistent, responsible decision-making at East Sidney Lake (ESL) that includes land use classifications that govern the way land is managed and used to provide good stewardship and outdoor recreation to meet the needs of the public.

ESL’s Master Plan includes three key objectives to meet the public’s needs and foster environmental sustainability at ESL: improve infrastructure and utilities; enhance existing recreation sites and amenities; and expand recreational opportunities in key areas.

Some examples of specific enhancement projects discussed in the Master Plan include supporting enhancements for hunting and shoreline fishing activities, addressing safety concerns, and improving the reliability of electrical and communications infrastructures.   

It is important to note that the Master Plan does not appropriate money to enhancements discussed in the plan, but effectively portrays where projects could be authorized if funding or a strategic partnership were to become available for implementation.

The ESL community provided input into the opportunities included within the Master Plan throughout the revision process. An open house and public comment period were hosted in March and April 2019 to gain feedback and suggestions from the public for the Master Plan.

The Master Plan does not change the technical operations of the lake as related to its primary missions of flood risk management. The revision is a part of a larger, Corps-wide effort to bring master plans up to date across the country.

The revised Master Plan contains an accompanying Environmental Assessment that assessed the potential impacts of the 2019 ESL Master Plan, resulting in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The process of revising ESL’s Master Plan and conducting an Environment Assessment was contracted to John Gallup & Associates (JG&A) with Army Corps Master Plan Revision team oversight. 

The final Master Plan, previous master plans and additional information can be found on the project website:

About East Sidney Lake

ESL has prevented more than $295 million of flood damages since its operational completion in 1950. The project is a unit of the comprehensive flood control plan for the protection of communities in southern New York and eastern Pennsylvania as authorized by the Flood Control Act of June 22, 1936, as amended by the Flood Control Act of June 28, 1938.

East Sidney Dam is located on Ouleout Creek in Delaware County, N.Y. The dam is approximately four highway miles downstream from the village of Franklin and six miles upstream from Unadilla.

The town of Sidney operates and maintains the East Sidney Recreation Area. Recreational facilities include a beach, picnic area, playground, campground, and boat launch. Recreation is offered Memorial Day to Labor Day annually.

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Rebecca Nappi

Release no. 19-024