Completed Applications
Consolidated SPDES Renewals

Positive Declaration and Public Scoping

Suffolk County

Lead Agency: Suffolk County

Location:Peconic Bay (Great Peconic Bay, Flanders Bay, Little Peconic Bay, Southold Bay and Shelter Island Sound) and western Gardiners Bay in the Towns of Southampton, East Hampton, Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island.

Public Scoping:A public scoping hearing on the Draft GEIS will be held on Thursday, May 3, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. at Suffolk Community College, Eastern Campus; Shinnecock Building; Room 101; 121 Speonk-Riverhead Road; Riverhead, New York 11901-3499.

Project Description: Development of a Shellfish Aquaculture Leasing Program in Peconic and Gardiners Bays

New York Environmental Conservation Law §13-0302 (“2004 Leasing Law”), enacted on September 14, 2004, streamlined the cession of +/- 100,000 acres of underwater lands in Peconic and Gardiners Bays to Suffolk County for the purposes of establishing a shellfish cultivation leasing program consistent with modern conservation principles. Suffolk County does not have a program to issue leases on underwater lands to shellfish farmers. Significant work must be done to conduct accurate mapping; define the structure of the aquaculture leasing program; identify where and how it would be implemented; conduct programmatic environmental review; support the adoption of the program by the Suffolk County Legislature; and implement the program. The 2004 Leasing Law includes a sunset provision. If no leases have been executed by December 31, 2010, then the authority of Suffolk County to issue such leases shall terminate, and the County will forfeit any title to the underwater lands in Peconic and Gardiners Bays.

Resolution No. 150-2005, which was unanimously adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature on March 15, 2005 and signed by the County Executive on March 21, 2005, amended the 2005 Capital Budget and appropriated $600,000 for Capital Project No. 7180.110: Suffolk County Aquaculture Leasing Program. This funding will enable the County to conduct the necessary work to develop a shellfish aquaculture leasing program in Peconic and Gardiners Bays, and provide the basis for its adoption and implementation. The Suffolk County Department of Planning was assigned the responsibility to execute CP 7180.110.

By issuing a shellfish cultivation lease prior to the sunset provision date of December 31, 2010, Suffolk County will secure the title to +/- 100,000 acres of underwater land in Peconic and Gardiners Bays ceded to it from the State of New York, as stipulated in the 2004 Leasing Law. Suffolk County will also retain local authority to designate locations in the Peconic Estuary for the conduct of compatible shellfish culture activities in the future.

A properly designed lease program will provide people with the opportunity to obtain access to underwater lands for raising shellfish. Successful implementation of the leasing program will encourage private investment in aquaculture businesses and the establishment of shellfish farms at secure locations that do not pose conflicts with commercial fishermen and other bay users. This, in turn, will expand the marine-based economy and create related job opportunities.

Suffolk County advertised a Request for Proposals (RFP) for technical services needed to implement CP 7180.110. After evaluation of all submitted responses to the RFP, the Suffolk County Purchasing Office issued its official award letter dated July 20, 2006 and notified Cashin Associates, P.C., 1200 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, NY 11788 that it was selected as the successful Proposer in response to the RFP.

Under its contract with Suffolk County, Cashin Associates, P.C. will construct an overall framework for the program and its administration, site and map potential locations where shellfish aquaculture is feasible considering all area use conflicts, as well as fulfill all State Environmental Quality Review Act requirements. This is a multidisciplinary project requiring expertise in Geographic Information Systems, marine resource planning and the programmatic environmental review process.

Work tasks to be conducted by Cashin Associates, P.C. on this project are outlined below:

Task 1 - Locate and Map Shellfish Cultivation Zones
Task 1.1 - Establish base map architecture and mapping requirements
Task 1.2 - Define criteria for determining Shellfish Cultivation Zone boundaries
Task 1.3 - Collect, interpret and format data
Task 1.4 - Construct GIS maps showing data coverages and preliminary Shellfish Cultivation Zone boundaries
Task 1.5 - Review preliminary GIS maps and resolve conflicts
Task 1.6 - Prepare final Shellfish Cultivation Zone map
Task 2 - Develop Proposed Aquaculture Lease Program
Task 2.1 - Develop administrative procedures, regulations and criteria for all aspects of the leasing process
Task 3 - Conduct programmatic environmental analysis and coordinate SEQRA review
Task 4 - Local law, regulations, standards and criteria
Task 5 - Meetings
Task 6 - Suffolk County Aquaculture Lease Management Program Report

Specific use of the Suffolk County Tax Map and associated databases will be required in the conduct of Task 1 and its subtasks.

Contact:DeWitt Davies, Suffolk County Department of Planning, P.O. Box 6100, Hauppauge, New York 11788, Phone: (631) 853-4865