Friday, 21 October 2011 00:00
The Town of Oyster Bay is inviting residents to share their ideas for the design of a blueway trail planned for the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor area.
Earlier this year, the town, partnering with Friends of the Bay, Inc. (FOB) and the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee (HHPC), received a $76,250 matching grant for the planning of a blueway trail, which will begin in Hempstead Harbor, travel along Long Island Sound and proceed through Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbors.
Blueways are routes for small, non-motorized boats such as sailboats, kayaks, canoes and rowboats that combine recreation and environmental awareness and allow users to travel to designated stops along the way for rest, overnight stays, and enjoyment of land and water-based attractions in the vicinity. Establishing a blueway trail in these harbors will create an exciting and unique way for people to learn about and enjoy this beautiful natural watershed and promote the many attractions in and around the harbor.
The project will consist of an in-depth study of Hempstead Harbor, Long Island Sound, Oyster Bay Harbor, West Harbor, Mill Neck Creek and Cold Spring Harbor. The Town, FOB and HHPC, along with a steering committee, has already employed a consultant with experience in design and planning for waterfront/coastal facilities to inventory the best-suited trailheads and amenities that provide access to recreational facilities, commercial establishments such as restaurants and shops, and ecological and cultural resources along the proposed trail. The consultant will prepare a report outlining a final plan, or plans, for the future construction of the blueway and a suggested action plan with recommendations for funding, estimated costs, and a list of environmental permits that would be required for physical improvements As part of their outreach, a survey has been prepared to give residents an opportunity to share their ideas for the design of the trail.
To access the survey, which will be accessible through December 30, you can go directly to the website www.surveymonkey. com/s/OysterBayBluewayTrail or click on a link on the Town website’s homepage, www.oysterbaytown.com.
All interested residents are urged to fill out the survey, as your input will be invaluable in creating a premier recreational facility with unique opportunities for people to enjoy, and learn about, our beautiful waterways and the many natural and man-made treasures that abound in and around them.
The trail will connect with a similar trail being designed by the Town of North Hempstead, which will run from Hempstead Harbor to Manhasset Bay. In addition to FOB, HHPC and the Town, core members of the water trail steering committee include the Waterfront Center, the Long Island Paddlers, Nassau County and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Other entities may be added based on need and interest.
Blueway trails provide a means for increasing environmental awareness and an understanding of the region’s natural and cultural resources, as well as spurring tourism. The creation of a recognized water trail system through the waters around the Town Oyster Bay’s north shore will do all of that while promoting a healthy, non-polluting, family-friendly form of outdoor recreation.