For 24 years, until 2001, I lived in Westchester County in New York, very close to the beautiful Sprain Lake reservoir. It had been built in the late 1800s and was part of the Yonkers municipal water supply system until 1981 when the city tapped into the New York City water system.
From 1981 on, the lake just sat there, looking beautiful, and doing not much besides entrapping golf balls from the adjacent golf course, breeding frogs and turtles, and attracting illegal fishermen.
I thought it would be a great place to go canoeing. I suggested it to the various departments that governed the water, and was either turned down or ignored.
In early 1995 I invented an organization called Westchester Citizens for Recreation On Water ("ROW"), designed a quickie letterhead, and sent out a press release to the local newspaper that outlined the reservoir history, my suggestion, and my frustration with local government.
I got a quick response and made arrangements to meet a reporter and photographer on the snowy banks of the lake. I bought a canoe paddle to use as a photo prop, and the paper ran a nice half-page story about my "group" with a picture of me standing in the snow, with a paddle on my shoulder.
I'm not sure if the law was changed. I soon moved to Connecticut, where I'm just minutes from the beach, and I have a pool in my back yard where I can paddle a rubber boat.