Long Islanders could soon be able to bike, job or walk all the way from manhattan to montauk point if a proposed 175 mile trail is approved. Not only would this trail connect the two points of the island, it would connect Montauk to Albany through a intricate New York trail system.

The trail system was proposed by a non for profit called “The Trust for the Public Lands” and is supposed to mirror that of the 750 miles long Empire State trail, that would connect buffalo and Plattsburgh to Battery Park.

The group claims that the trails would give outdoor lovers more options then the seemingly ever increasing overcrowded parks, it would also give commuters better routes to their train stations and eventually pump up tourism.

The trail would run east to west, like the Pamonoka trail does, the group claims that it would give these areas of the island more places for outside exercise.

The group says that only half of the trails would not be on the side of roads, leaving the other half to go through wooded areas or power line rights of ways. The earliest the trails would open up are within a few years, and funding has yet to be secured.

Carter Strickland, the group’s New York State director, said in a statement: “A trail on existing infrastructure that links together Long Island communities and parks will provide many benefits, including nearby opportunities for residents to get healthy by walking, jogging, or biking, sustainable transportation to jobs, neighbors, or the train station, and a weekend adventure for friends, family, and tourists.”

According to a news day article the New York State Parks and Recreation department has not released any comments regarding the project, they have also reached out to other agencies named, such as PSEG, who have stated that they’re excited to be working with the group. LIPA has previously worked to help with the rails to trails program that recently opened up new trails in eastern Brookhaven.

Suffolk County executive has come out praising the idea stating that “[it] will be an important asset for tourists, local recreational cyclists and commuters alike, helping to provide a new, healthy, alternative while celebration the unique geology of ‘fish shape Paumanok”. Referring to famous Walt Whitman.

The trust published a 66 page report recently that outlined various possible routes and included north and south trails.

It is estimated to cost a total of $20 million, an estimate that came from the port jeff to wading river trail.

“We’re hopeful that some portions of the trail can be opened in 2021 or 2022,” a spokeswoman for the group, Joanna Fisher, said by email to newsday.

To read the report you can visit: https://www.tpl.org/sites/default/files/Empire%20Trail%20Extension%20Report_1_9_19-compressed.pdf

 

State officials may want to turn part of Camp Hero State Park in Montauk into a camping destination, with its sweeping panoramic views from atop the bluffs just west of Montauk Lighthouse, but several groups think that’s just one terrible idea.

New York State is considering allowing camping to occur on 3.3 acres, which would include tent camping, RV’s, Cabins and space for glamping, that would include expensive services for its guests.

While New York has a total of six state parks in Montauk, only one of them officially allows camping.

Montauk Camp Hero SAGE Tower

The 415-acre Camp Hero State Park, established in 1974, was used as a military base during During World War I, the Army stationed reconnaissance dirigibles, an airplane, troops, and Coast Guard personnel at Montauk. During World War II it was used by both the Army and the Navy as they expanded its use to Sea Planes, but when World War II ended, the base was temporarily shut down and used as a training facility by the Army Reserves. The naval facilities were largely abandoned, After World War II it was used as a NORAD Facility to help manage and direct military Aircraft while also playing as a surveillance facility.

The Eastern Long Island Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, which is a grassroots environmental organization that protects the ocean from the Moriches Inlet east to Montauk Point, is also worried about the prospect of a new camping concession. “This is an environmentally sensitive area, with eroding and dangerous bluffs, that would not be well suited for significantly more use than it experiences now,” the foundation said in an Oct. 1 letter to Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

The foundation laid out a total of five concerns it had, including the safety of campers near the crumbling bluff lines, and the impact to the bluffs themselves, some as high as 80 feet above sea level, from visitors not familiar with the area. Sewage and garbage management is also a concern.

Another major concern would be wether the state parks police have enough personnel to patrol yet another campground. This concern stems from the parks police complaining about a lack of staffing for years.

“We’re way understaffed,” said Manny Vilar, the founding president of the Police Benevolent Association of New York State and its current vice president. Mr. Vilar, who lives in Springs, is running next month on the Republican and Conservative lines for a town board seat.

“The Montauk post is supposed to have five [parks] police officers assigned to it to cover 24-7, seven days a week,” he said. “Currently we only have two police officers assigned to Montauk, which does not provide any type of consequential nature. For all intents and purposes, we’re not covering it 50 percent of the time.” It is left to other law enforcement agencies, mainly the town police, he said, to pick up the slack.

The Montauk parks police post is responsible for patrolling nine state parks, including the Sag Harbor Golf Course, and the state parkway, which runs from Hither Hills to Montauk Point.

“As a P.B.A., we’re in support of the state expanding needed services,” Mr. Vilar explained. “We would never want to be the ones who were standing in the way of a local municipality’s economy or services to a state park.” However, he said, “Unless you get the coverage or the staff, we would highly discourage the state from proceeding.”

Bill Akin, a Montauk resident who frequently visits Camp Hero and who reviewed the R.F.P., said that while only 3.3 acres are being looked at for camping, “Nobody has said how many spaces or the target number of people. What are we talking about here in terms of numbers? . . . Even if they start low, what if they increase it? Once you let the camel get his nose in the tent, what’s next?”

The Montauk Fire Department’s emergency services are already stretched thin, Mr. Akin said. “The last thing they need to worry about is running out to Camp Hero in the middle of the night at the extreme end of their service area.”

“The Parks Department is forgetting that Montauk is overutilized,” he added. “We are full! It’s an already chaotic situation that nobody is able to put their hands around.”

On Tuesday, November 20, 2018, the Suffolk County Legislature approved a funding appropriation in connection with the reconstruction of the spillway located in Southaven Park.

In May of 2018 engineers from the Department of Public Works Bridges and Structures Division met with staff from the Parks Department to evaluate the condition of the Carmans River spillway located in Southaven Park. At that time it was determined that the spillway was in a deteriorating and potentially unsafe condition and in need of being replaced. Introductory Resolution 1889-2018 issued a bond to finance planning costs in connection to the reconstruction. “This is a step in the right direction to help protect the Carmans River and ensure we maintain the beautiful character of Southaven Park.” – Said Suffolk Legislator Rudy Sunderman

The Southaven Park spillway helps to control the flow of the Carmans River through the park and also contributes to the formation of the lake in the southern portion of Southaven. This beautiful park which is designated Pine Barrens has many opportunities for recreation. The park has miles of hiking trails, offers row boat rentals in the summer, and duck hunting in the winter. The park is also home to the Long Island Live Steamers, a not for profit organization of steam engine train enthusiasts, operating for the education and enjoyment of the public, and to preserve the history and wonderment of the glory days of railroading.
The new spillway will be constructed with the inclusion of a fish passage to help facilitate the migration of fish species upriver. While the inclusion of a fish passage was not included in the initial scope of this work, similar projects which require New York State Department of Environmental Conservation permits have required them. Thus, it was determined to include a fish passage along with this project. “I would like to thank my colleagues on the Suffolk County Legislature for this important project for my district.” Stated Sunderman “I would encourage everyone to visit Southaven Park and experience the beauty of our pine barrens first hand.”

Source: Suffolk County Parks Facebook Page:

In a surprise event, 96 rare baby sea turtles, known as Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles, hatched and crawled to the ocean on a Rockaway beach this week according to the National Park Service.

The Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles are some of the most endangered and smallest species of sea turtles and are typically found in the Gulf of New Mexico.

“This is the furthest north [the sea turtle nest has ever been documented], so it’s very unusual that this turtle came to a beach in Queens to nest,” Patti Rafferty, chief of resource stewardship for Gateway National Recreation Area, a 26,000 acre National Park that stretches from New York to New Jersey. She continues “This isn’t where she would usually come to nest, and then for the eggs to actually successfully hatch. It’s a pretty amazing thing.”

Turtle Squad Heading to Sea
Jason Wickersty, NPS

The female Kemp’s Ridley crawled on the beach on the Rockaway Peninsula and built her nest in July according to Rafferty. The eggs were saved from High Tides by NPS workers, who were able to save and incubate 110 eggs. Of the 110 eggs that were saved, only 96 hatched and were able to crawl back into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was listed in the United States as endangered in 1970.

Source: National Parks Service

Going on adventures with your dog is one of the best feelings. You get to create new memories while you enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and new surroundings. So, whether you are looking for paved trails or open acreage, we have the perfect park for you. Below, we highlight the top 5 dog-friendly parks in Long Island that you should visit with your pup.

  1. Bailey Arboretum

If you’re looking for a park with a lot of lands, this is for you. Bailey Arboretum is a 42-acre preserve that allows you to bring your dog as long as they’re on a leash. There are numerous gardens, parks, and trails around the property that your dog can enjoy. This park is open 365 days a year and offers seven acres of meticulously landscaped gardens. This location also has many different classes, that you can attend at a later date when you don’t have your pup with you. The Bailey Arboretum makes it possible to take your dog to beautiful gardens, which is a nice change from hiking in the woods.  

  1. Blydenburgh County Park

At Blydenburgh County Park, there is a fenced-in area where you can let your dog off their leash. This dog park is split into two areas for large and small dogs. Then, there are many different trails and fields where your pup can play. Overall, this park offers two acres of fun for you to enjoy. Blydenburgh County Park also has many different water spots to keep your dog hydrated. Overall, this park has a little bit of everything for dog owners.  

  1. Mud Creek Natural Borders Dog Park

Many dog parks you go to will have fences and other man-made barriers to keep your dog confined and separated. However, with Mud Creek Natural Borders Dog Park, there are natural borders to confine your dog. This park is special because your dog can run on the beach and swim in the water. There aren’t many beaches in Long Island where your dog can enjoy the ocean. So, make sure to check this park out for a freeing experience for your pup.

  1. Heckscher State Park

Heckscher State Park allows dogs to visit numerous parts of this 1,600-acre park. Dogs are allowed on the beach and any underdeveloped areas. However, dogs are not allowed in bathing areas, picnic areas, buildings, or walkways. Heckscher State Park offers four miles of paved trails that offer perfect views of Fire Island and the South Bay. When visiting this park, you must keep your dog on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet.

  1. Sagamore Hill National Historic Site

For those dog owners that want a bit of history on their outing, the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site is the perfect destination. Formerly the home of President Teddy Roosevelt, there are trails that stretch all over the property. Your dog must be on leash while they are here, and they are not allowed in the water. However, you can walk dogs on the beach. This park is free, which is even more of a reason to take a trip out to these historic grounds.

Things to Remember:

Taking your dog to dog-friendly parks can be fun, but you need to be prepared. You should never take a dog to a dog park that isn’t vaccinated. You never know what kind of dogs that you are going to run into at the park. Some dogs haven’t been vaccinated, so it’s better to be prepared. Also, remember that sick dogs and dogs in heat should stay at home.

There can be aggressive dogs that go to these locations. Each park requires owners to handle their own dogs, but some owners won’t. So, even though you can have dogs off-leash we recommend keeping your dog on leash until you are comfortable. We recommend these chew proof leashes to keep your dog safe while you are out visiting these dog parks. If there are trails at the park, you can walk your dog first to tire them out. Then, you can take them to the dog park area to play off-leash. Just because your dog is well behaved, doesn’t mean others will be.

Finally, please remember to bring supplies for your dog. You need to have dog bags to clean up the waste that your dog leaves behind. We also recommend traveling with a dog water bottle, so that you have access to water at all times. Lastly, you can bring along a ball or toys that you want to use at the park.

All the dog park is missing is you!

Now that you know where to go for a dog-friendly park in Long Island, you just need to plan your trip! Remember to have fun and enjoy these times that you have with your dog. Once you start going to dog-friendly parks, you’ll find it hard to stop.

Ridge: Six people were recently charged for illegally dumping paint cans, a drum set, and a boat, in the Ridge Central Pine Barrens from May to July according to the Central Pine Barrens Commission.

“If you’re caught dumping, you could be subject to tens of thousands of dollars in fines, the cost of restitution, possibly even jail” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine

The six men being charged are Christian Manzi, Rocco Schuster, William Rodriguez-Ortiz, Byron Garcia-Perez and Calvin Cobb. They’re facing charges that range from unlawful disposal of solid waste to dumping construction debris.

If anyone see’s or has any tips regarding dumping in the Pine Barrens then you should contact Suffolk Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS

 

Source: News 12

Visitors to New York’s Jones Beach State Park has two new attractions for this summer season. A splash park on the boardwalk and the reopening of the Boardwalk Cafe.

“We’re really trying to restore the history, majesty, and glory, and introduce recreational activities, food and dining opportunities tailored to the 21st century,” Rose Harvey, commissioner of the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said, after the cafe’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Roughly 90 years ago, master builder Robert Moses had created Jones Beach, the pride, and joy of Moses massive state parks system.

The cafe’s renovation, and the splash parks creation was part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s $65 million renovation plan for the park, which is nearly completed and has already spent roughly $55-$65 million.

Other renovations and improvements include restoring the West Bathhouse, upgrading public bathrooms and adding boccie, cornhole, and shuffleboard to the western play areas, while keeping the mini-golf course, which honors other states parks by placing their signage at the holes of the course. The plan also includes restoring the original details of the Central Mall mosaics, and other infrastructure that has deteriorated over time.

the Beaux Arts Boardwalk Cafe originally sat at the location, but was destroyed in the 1960’s by a fire, and has been a hole in the ground since 2004.

According to the LiRo Group, the new cafe has cost $18 million and is designed to withstand hurricanes. Built on 52, 12-inch steel piles that were drilled 45 feet into the ground.

$2.8 million was allocated for the splash park, that encompasses 2,000 square feet. The new splash park has a total of 20 sprayers that shoot 85 gallons a minute and costs nothing extra to park visitors.

Harvey is also said in an interview with Newsday, that the parks department is looking at ways to phase out the use of plastic.

New York State’s Robert Moses Park has a brand new, and barely used, a marina that’s open for overnight stays.

According to the Long Island Deputy Regional Director of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, George Gorman, there has only been a total of seven (7) boaters that have booked overnight stays. The total number of nights booked so far were eight (8) nights.

Gorman hopes that the long long Independence Day holiday weekend entices boaters to stay overnight.

The marina’s location is a prime spot for an overnight stay, being so close to Field 3. Gorman is quoted by Newsday “Once the boaters spend the night there, they will come back – and tell their friends”

While the West Marina provides a docking location for small boats, it does not allow for overnight stays. The newly renovated East Marina allows up to 42-foot boats to stay for up to a week and only cost $75 a night from Thursday to Sunday, then $35 a night for Monday through Wednesday.

The parks department is limiting the amount of time a boater can stay for seven days in a row. They would have to spend a minimum of 48 hours somewhere else before returning to the newly renovated marina again.

The marina is only available through Columbus Day Weekend.

If you’d to make a reservation, or get a list of their regulations you can call 631-669-0449

IT STANDS like a sentry on watch, a solitary figure on the easternmost bluffs of Long Island. Commissioned 190+ years ago by President George Washington, the Montauk Lighthouse has become one of the most photographed structures in America because of its dramatic location.

But the peril of that site is causing concern over the future of the lighthouse once again.

On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that $24 million in state and federal funding has been secured to begin construction on rebuilding the rocks that protect the Montauk Point Lighthouse, as well as reconstructing the areas ocean banks.

Agreements had to be made with the State of New York, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Montauk Historical Society.

“Generations of visitors have experienced the culture and beauty of Montauk Point, and New York is committed to ensuring this historic landmark remains a sought-after attraction on Long Island for decades to come,” Cuomo said. “This investment provides the resources needed to secure the ocean bank, protect the historic structures at the Montauk Point Lighthouse site, and preserve New York history for future generations of visitors.”

When the lighthouse was first constructed, the sentry sat roughly 300 feet away from the water’s edge, today it sits less than 100 feet, which can create a dangerous situation for visitors as well as structures.

The preservation project will cost an estimated $24 million. The majority of the project will be funded by the federal government (65%) while the remainder will be funded by the Department of Conservation (35%)

State’s Largest Expansion of Artificial Reefs Will Provide New Habitats, Restore Fishery Resources, and Bolster the Region’s Economies

More Than 43,000 Cubic Yards of Clean, Recycled Tappan Zee Bridge Material and 5,900 Cubic Yards of Jetty Rock Will Support Construction of 6 Artificial Reefs

Governor’s Announcement to Support Environmental Protection and the State’s Marine Ecosystems Made in Conjunction with Earth Week

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the largest expansion of artificial reefs in state history to improve New York’s diverse marine life and boost Long Island’s recreational and sport fishing industries. In New York’s first ever, comprehensive program to construct artificial reefs, the Governor has launched an initiative to deploy materials including tugboats, barges, and scows, as well as concrete and clean, recycled materials from the demolition of the former Tappan Zee Bridge. These materials will support the development of six artificial reefs on Long Island at sites off the shores of Smithtown, Shinnecock, Moriches, Fire Island, Hempstead, and Rockaway.

Launched during Earth Week, this initiative builds on the Governor’s record $300 million Environmental Protection Fund investment, $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act, more than $2 million NY Sea Grant program to mitigate Long Island brown tide, and actions taken to ban off-shore drilling along New York’s coastline.

“The sustainability and health of New York’s marine resources is critical to communities along our shores, and by constructing these reef habitats, we are investing in a stronger more diverse marine ecosystem,” Governor Cuomo said. “As the largest artificial reef construction program in state history, these efforts will increase New York’s marine biodiversity, provide new habitats for a variety of coral and fish, and support a growing tourism industry that brings thousands of anglers and travelers to Long Island’s pristine waters every year.”

At the Governor’s direction, and with unprecedented, multi-agency coordination, recycled materials from the Department of Transportation, Canal Corporation, and the Thruway Authority will be used to develop New York’s artificial reef sites and increase the biodiversity of these habitats for a variety of fish and lobsters. Construction of New York’s first artificial reef dates back to 1949, and this latest initiative marks the state’s first coordinated effort to stimulate the full environmental and economic benefits of artificial reefs.

New York’s marine resources are critical to the state’s economy, supporting nearly 350,000 jobs and generating billions of dollars through tourism, fishing and other industries. More than 500,000 anglers in the region will reap the benefits of this new initiative, supporting the region’s growing marine economy which accounts for approximately 9.7 percent of Long Island’s total GDP.

“The sustainability and health of New York’s marine resources is critical to communities along our shores, and by constructing these reef habitats, we are investing in a stronger more diverse marine ecosystem…”

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Beginning in May, state agencies will start to deploy 33 barges of Tappan Zee Bridge recycled materials and 30 vessels that have been cleaned of all contaminants. A total of 43,200 cubic yards of recycled Tappan Zee Bridge material, 338 cubic yards of steel pipe from DOT, and 5,900 cubic yards of jetty rock will be submerged and added to six reef sites as part of the first phase of this initiative. The six artificial reefs that will be developed include:

Smithtown Reef 
Three canal vessels and one barge of steelwill be deployed to expand the artificial reef between June 8-15. The 3-acre reef is located 1.6 nautical miles from shore with a depth of 38-40 feet.

Shinnecock Reef
One barge of the Tappan Zee Bridge material, one barge of steel pipes and two canal vessels will be deployed to expand the artificial reef beginning Wednesday, May 2. The 35-acre reef is located 2 nautical miles from shore with a depth of 79-84 feet.

Moriches Reef
Two barges of Tappan Zee Bridge material and two canal vessels will be deployed in July and August to expand the artificial reef. The 14-acre reef is located 2.4 nautical miles from shore with a depth of 70-75 feet.

Fire Island Reef
Ten barges of Tappan Zee Bridge material, 11 canal vessels, one barge of steel and four barges of jetty rock will be deployed to expand the artificial reef between June 26-28. The 744-acre reef is located 2 nautical miles from shore with a depth of 62-73 feet.

Hempstead Reef
Twelve barges of Tappan Zee Bridge material and 11 canal vessels will be deployed in July and August to expand the artificial reef. The 744-acre reef is located 3.3 nautical miles from shore with a depth of 50-72 feet.

Rockaway Reef
One barge of Tappan Zee Bridge material will be deployed in July and August to expand the artificial reef. The 413-acre reef is located 1.6 nautical miles from shore with a depth of 32-40 feet.

DEC manages New York’s Artificial Reef Program, which includes two reefs in the Long Island Sound, two in the Great South Bay, and eight artificial reefs in the Atlantic Ocean. The major benefits of constructing New York’s artificial reefs include improving the existing habitats in order to increase local marine biodiversity, stimulating more productive and diverse aquatic ecosystems, and promoting environmental sustainability through fish habitat improvement.

The reefs are built out of hard, durable structures such as rock, concrete, and steel pipes, and usually in the form of surplus or scrap materials that are cleaned of contaminants. After materials and vessels settle to the sea floor, larger fish like blackfish, cod, and striped bass move in to build habitats within the new structures, and encrusting organisms such as barnacles, sponges, anemones, corals, and mussels cling to and cover the material. Over time, all these structures will create habitat similar to a natural reef.

Artificial reef construction is part of Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. For more information about DEC’s Artificial Reef Program visit DEC’s website here.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Governor Cuomo recognizes that expanding Long Island’s artificial reefs will bolster the economies of our fisheries. This is a wonderful and innovative way to reuse materials from state infrastructure projects. Our communities, anglers, and environment all stand to benefit from this effort and the State’s expanded Artificial Reef Program.”

Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, “This is government at its best: smart, efficient and environmentally mindful. In addition to transferring deck panels from the Tappan Zee Bridge to local governments for reuse, the Thruway Authority is taking advantage of another unique opportunity to recycle bridge materials to improve and protect the environment. I commend Governor Cuomo for allowing the historic Tappan Zee Bridge to live on as artificial reefs off the coast of Long Island, economically contributing to these communities for decades to come.”

Senator Tom F. O’Mara, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee said, “From environmental conservation to transportation infrastructure, New York State is leading the way on putting existing materials back into use in creative, cost-effective, innovative and effective ways.”

Assemblyman Steven Englebright, Chair of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee said, “I am thrilled to see that the cleaned and inspected materials from the Tappan Zee Bridge and other old infrastructure are going to be repurposed for such a great project. Artificial reefs provide incredible opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist such as research, diving, and angling. They also create habitats that foster vibrant, diverse ecosystems. This is a great example of upcycling and I look forward to seeing the results of it.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “The Governor has been with us for every challenge we have faced, from infrastructure to water quality to providing the resources we need in order to improve our Long Island communities, and this announcement continues the state’s commitment to protect New York’s natural assets. Governor Cuomo’s commitment to build up our artificial reefs will provide new habitats for fish species, helping them grow in numbers and provide Long Island’s booming recreational and sport fishing industries even more to look forward to. I thank all state agencies involved in developing these reefs and look forward to the economic benefits this initiative will bring to our communities.”

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, “Long Island’s legendary fishing industry is world renowned. With the addition of these clean, recycled materials, the artificial reefs off our shores will develop into larger habitats and help our marine life diversify and grow. I thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing the opportunity to expand these aquatic environments and am thrilled to welcome more visitors to Long Island’s coastal communities for years to come.”

Smithtown Supervisor Edward R. Wehrheim said, “These canal vessels and other recycled materials are the perfect habitat for Long Island’s coral and fish species, and by using them to expand our precious reefs, our community looks forward to increased biodiversity in our waters. I invite everyone to travel to Smithtown this year, enjoy our local businesses, explore our beautiful shores, and cast a line in the waters that Governor Cuomo has done so much to help protect.”

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said, “Under the Governor’s leadership, we have seen Long Island’s tourism and fishing industries steadily grow year after year, and this latest initiative is sure to boost our local economies and attract even more anglers and travelers to our communities. I look forward to having these recycled materials lowered into our waters, as they develop into new and expanded reefs, and help increase the biodiversity of our environment for years to come.”

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen said, “I thank the Governor for investing in our water quality and committing resources to construct our reef into an even larger underwater environment. This initiative is exactly the kind of investment our artificial reefs need to develop, grow and increase Long Island’s marine biodiversity. We look forward to even more successful fishing experiences for everyone.”

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward Romaine said, “This project announced by Gov. Cuomo today is a positive step towards protecting our shoreline and improving fish habitat. By creating this artificial reef, wave action will be broken up, protecting our shoreline from erosion during major storm events. The reef will also attract fish to this new protective environment, increasing their population and helping our recreational fishing industry.”

Ocean Beach Mayor James S. Mallott said, “Our beautiful waters, and the plethora of fish available for sport and recreation fishing, attract thousands of anglers to Long Island every year. I applaud Governor Cuomo and our state agencies for working together to clean and recycle materials that will help construct and develop artificial reefs off our shore. This new initiative will entice even more visitors to our community and we look forward to welcoming outdoor enthusiasts of all ages for generations to come.”

Bill Ulfelder, Executive Director for The Nature Conservancy in New York said, “The Nature Conservancy applauds Governor Cuomo’s announcement of work to expand artificial reefs off Long Island. The reefs benefit marine life, hook and line fisherman, and the fishing and recreation economies. On Long Island and across New York our economy, health, and way of life all depend on nature. Like other initiatives recently announced by Governor Cuomo aimed at improving water quality and revitalizing shellfish and ocean life, today’s announcement is a win for New York’s fishermen, coastal communities and oceans.”

Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said, “Our oceans, fisheries and healthy estuaries are at the heart of our maritime culture. Restoration efforts and programs to increase biodiversity such as this are invaluable to life on Long Island, our sustainability and our future. CCE applauds the Governor for his focus and commitment to our marine environment.”

New York Sportfishing Federation President Capt. Joe Paradiso said, “The New York Sportfishing Federation applauds Governor Cuomo for his efforts in reinvigorating the artificial reef program here in the New York Marine District. This initiative will replenish and restore our existing reefs, a long overdue need, benefiting our recreational anglers as well as improving the ecosystems that these reefs support. We hope the success of this ‘first step’ will lead to the creation of new artificial reefs in the future, further increasing biodiversity and fishing access for NY’s anglers.”

Rocket Charters President and New York’s Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Representative, Capt. Tony DiLernia said, “The marine environment is harsh and our artificial reefs collapse with time. To remain productive, the reefs must have materials added to them every few years. Recent administrations, prior to Governor Cuomo’s, were unable to find ways to address New York’s crumbling artificial reefs. The announcement to grow and add to the artificial reefs surrounding Long Island is another example of Governor Cuomo’s desire to create as many opportunities as possible for our fishermen. By adding to these reefs, the amount of fish available will increase and family fishing outings will be successful.”