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Watershed Plan Hearing June 22

The Oyster Bay Town Board has scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday, June 22, on one of the components of that plan, the Massapequa Creek Watershed Management and Corridor Restoration Plan.

“The town has been awarded an $88,000 grant through the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program of the Department of State under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Plan to undertake implementation of the South Shore Estuary Reserve Comprehensive Management Plan,” said TOB Supervisor John Venditto. “Among the projects the town is undertaking with the grant monies is developing an action plan for Massapequa Creek watershed. As a requirement under the grant, the Massapequa Creek Watershed Management and Corridor Restoration Plan must be presented at a public hearing.”

The supervisor added that the South Shore Estuary Reserve encompasses one of the state’s most unique estuaries and its 326-mile watershed. It extends from the western boundary of the Town of Hempstead to the eastern shoreline of Shinnecock Bay and includes all waters, underground lands and land, which gather precipitation as groundwater or run-off between the Atlantic barrier islands and extending as far north as the Long Island Expressway. Approximately 1.5 million people live in the reserve.

The South Shore Estuary Act, adopted by the New York State Legislature in 1993, declared the estuary to be a resource of unparalleled biological, economic and social value, which must be protected and managed.

To oversee the preparation of the Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Comprehensive Management Plan, the act created the South Shore Estuary Reserve Council. The council comprises representatives from South Shore towns and villages, Nassau and Suffolk counties, and other entities including recreation, estuary-based businesses, environmental and academic interests.

The Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Comprehensive Management Plan, which the council adopted in April 2001, provides a blueprint for the long-term health of the reserve’s bays and tributaries, its tidal wetlands and wildlife, and its tourism and economy.

The hearing will be in the Hearing Room of Town Hall North, 54 Audrey Avenue, Oyster Bay, beginning at 10 a.m. Following the regular town business, the town board will be available to listen to public comment on any subject.

 Venditto noted that the Massapequa Creek Watershed Management and Corridor Restoration Plan, can be viewed on the South Shore Estuary Web site, www.estuary.cog.ny.us.

Copies and a CD of the plan are also available at the Massapequa Bar Harbor and Farmingdale public libraries.