Southampton Town and Suffolk County representatives are looking for community commentary on the Suffolk County Aquaculture Lease Program.
Tuesday, April 23, representatives of the county’s Economic Development and Planning departments will be at Southampton Town Hall to present information on the program, including an overview of the leasing process and updates made to the program. They will listen to comments to see if any modifications are needed.
The leasing program provides secure access to marine space for private, commercial shellfish aquaculture, and was developed by the county for publicly owned underwater lands in Peconic Bay and Gardiners Bay. In 1884, New York State ceded 110,000 acres of Peconic and Gardiners bays to the county for oyster cultivation.
Currently, Suffolk County authorizes and controls access to underwater lands, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regulates all aspects of shellfish cultivation and issues permits for it. Participants lease 10-acre plots where they grow a variety of shellfish. Each lease is 10 years.