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NARROWSBURG, NY — People who use the Ten Mile River Access to get into the river in Narrowsburg have expressed concern with the amount of mud that builds up there.
This issue has been ongoing for at least the last five years, but the incredible amount of rainfall this year, which led to a high river in spring and early summer, caused an especially muddy buildup. The Greater New York Council’s Boy Scouts of America owns the access point, and the president has been made aware of the situation, according to Upper Delaware Council (UDC) director Laurie Ramie. The UDC will discuss the issue at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday, August 20, and has invited the Boy Scouts director to attend.
All of this came at the urging of several community members, including Narrowsburg residents Eugene and Mary Wolff, who carried signs at RiverFest bringing attention to the “unsafe and unhealthy shoreline.”
“It’s a public safety issue,” Eugene Wolff said. “Little kids—it’ll be up to their shoulders, and something’s going to happen there.”
Tusten Town Board member Tony Ritter, who is also a fishing guide on the Delaware, said the access point is an “embarrassment.” He brought this issue up more than three years ago when he was representing Tusten for the UDC, he said.
“A simple, heavy, concrete pad would solve the problem of waist-high mud,” Ritter said in an email. “Funding for a concrete ramp or mat could be achieved by crowdsourcing or other means, but the first step is to reach out to the property owner and discuss the issue and how it could be improved for the public with a practical, common-sense approach and not a laundry list of pie-in-the-sky line items.”
Ritter was referring to a 2014 New York State Department plan for revitalizing river access points along the Delaware. Plans made at that time for Tusten included adding additional parking, paving areas of the access and setting up trash cans, picnic tables, a bathroom and other amenities. Ritter and Wolff say the solution doesn’t need to be that complicated or expensive.
“Even a narrow, small, floating dock there so people could patiently, one at a time, at least get through it,” Wolff said. On a recent kayak trip, Wolff said there was no way to get to the landing without slogging through the mud. “It’s fetid,” he said. “It stunk like sewage.”
A group of people in tubes trying to launch were there that day too, Wolff said, trying to decide whether it was worth it to wade through the muck.
“I was astounded at how many tourists were there,” Wolff said, “and if that was my first impression of this area, I wouldn’t come back.”
The UDC’s meeting is open to the public and will take place on Tuesday, August 20 at 7 p.m., 211 Bridge St. in Narrowsburg.