BROOKHAVEN - The Town of Brookhaven has approved a plan to preserve more than 10,000 acres along the Carmans River.

The bill, which passed unanimously, will restrict the amount of development that can occur on the east and west sides of the river to prevent pollutants from entering.

A key element of the plan is state legislation that expands the protected Pine Barrens Region to include 3,845 more acres along the river. The annexation of new land was approved by the state Legislature and signed into law in August by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“The goal is to not develop the land on the shores of the river extending out about two miles,” said East End environmentalist Dick Amper.

Amper says property owners along the river will be given incentives to build more in less sensitive places.

The Town of Brookhaven will now create a Performance Committee that will be in charge of making sure the protection goals are met and water quality improvement is achieved.

The approval ends a three-year effort to protect the river from overdevelopment.