Conserving Land • Protecting Resources
Since 1987

As of January 1, 2024, the Rensselaer Land Trust has merged with the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance. For all questions regarding donations, events, land, or other matters, please visit or call 518-712-9211. For questions about the merger, use extension 101 to speak with Jim Bonesteel. You can expect a new name and logo for our merged organization by Spring / Summer 2024 and a new website by the end of the year!

Protect Your Capital Region Drinking Water: Join RLT In Action!

RLT Tomhannock Rural Land Campaign Sign imageDid you know that the Tomhannock Reservoir currently provides drinking water to 135,000 residents of the Capital Region? The Tomhannock and its watershed provides the drinking water for Rensselaer, Albany and Saratoga Counties including Troy, Menands, Halfmoon, Brunswick, East Greenbush, North Greenbush, Poestenkill, Rensselaer, Schaghticoke and Waterford.

Increased development and other land uses can impact the water quality of the Tomhannock Reservoir. Already the Reservoir has suffered harmful algal blooms in the last few years, illustrating the vulnerability of this resource.

Rensselaer Land Trust is proud to be a protector of our drinking water by partnering with the NYS-DEC Water Quality Improvement Program and land owners in the 66 square mile Tomhannock Watershed. To help protect the drinking water and support community health, the Rensselaer Land Trust intends to purchase land or purchase the development rights to create protective buffers from willing land owners.

By creating buffers, we mitigate pathogens, nutrients and silt/sediment that are the primary current pollutants that threaten the Tomhannock Reservoir and our health.

NYS-DEC awarded Rensselaer Land Trust, and its partners Rensselaer Plateau Alliance and Agricultural Stewwardship Association, a Water Quality Improvement Program grant in the amount of $1,500,000. Rensselaer Land Trust is seeking donations totaling $100,000 for expenses not covered by the grant.

Jim Daus is our Land Protection Manager who administers the program and works with land owners who are interested in this important project.

To date, RLT has protected 120 acres in the watershed with an additional 10 land owners currently considering placing easements or the sale of land.

RLT seeks additional land owners in the Tomhannock watershed who are interested in exploring the sale of their land or a portion thereof, or the sale of their development rights and still retaining land ownership to help protect the Tomhannock and its tributaries.

Please help protect our drinking water today and in perpetuity. We need you now more than ever for this vital initiative. If interested in helping in either way, or connecting us with other potentially interested parties, please reach out to Deb Balliet, Executive Director at or 859-230-0980 (direct line/text).

To learn more check out our website dedicated to Water Quality Improvement Program

To view a larger map click here to open a PDF.

Tomhannock Watershed Buffers Map