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For Release: Friday, April 29, 2022

DEC Dedicates Plaque and Tree to Former Owners of Hashamomuck Marine Waterway Access Site

Site Opened Last Year Offers DEC's First Public Fishing and Boating Access to the Peconic Bay

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today unveiled a plaque and planted a tree to recognize the family of Carl D. and Helen Reiter, whose contribution in their names made possible the Hashamomuck Marine Waterway Access Site in Southold, Suffolk County. The site, opened last June, is DEC's first and only unrestricted Waterway Access Site on the Peconic Bay and will provide public fishing and recreational boating access to this popular waterbody.

"There can be no better day than Arbor Day to mark the environmental stewardship legacy of the Reiter Family of Southold," Regional Director Cathy Haas said. "Through their generous donation to New York State, they secured a lasting environmental legacy. Their gift created a boating destination that offers New York boaters the opportunity to explore the waters of Peconic Bay and a destination where anyone can sit and enjoy the beauty of the Peconic's shoreline."

Division of Marine Resources Director Jim Gilmore said, "The addition of Hashamomuck Marine Waterway Access Site to DEC's public lands is an invaluable contribution by the Reiter Family and we're extremely grateful for their stewardship and generosity. This site will ultimately benefit thousands of visitors seeking access to New York's sought-after marine resources within Peconic Estuary system."

Carol Denson said, "My siblings, Dan Reiter and Joan Cochran, and I are extremely pleased that the State of New York and its DEC have assisted us in transforming our property from one that was, for nearly three quarters of a century, a commercial seafood restaurant, Captain Reiter's Munitions Barge, later The Old Barge, into the Hashamomuck Marine Waterway Access Site. This transformation is in alignment with the values held by our parents, Carl D. and Helen Reiter. They treasured, respected, and nurtured the marine environment of this community. We know that this action by the State will sustain the importance of this community's marine heritage."

The Hashamomuck Marine Waterway Access Site is a 3.2-acre waterfront property located at 750 Old Main Road, Southold, that now includes a public boat ramp, canoe and kayak launch, an accessible pathway, a boat pump-out station, a washdown station, and a 37-vehicle parking lot for 31 trailers and six cars. All the amenities are universally accessible and available to the public for free.

The Reiters' Legacy:

A commercial fishing family by trade, the Reiters bought the property in 1938 and later purchased a World War II ammunition barge for use as a fish market and restaurant. The Old Barge became a popular seafood restaurant known for its fresh catch and views of the Peconic Bay.

In 2012 the Reiter Family sold its family lands to DEC at a steep discount, a donation of land value that made the State's purchase possible. The balance of the purchase price and construction were funded with a Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), matched by additional State funding.

The federal Sport Fish Restoration Program was authorized by the Sport Fish Restoration Act of 1950 and is administered by the USFWS. Funding is acquired with revenues from manufacturers' excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts and pleasure craft and a portion of the gasoline fuel tax attributable to small engines and motorboats. It provides funds to states for fishery, boating access, and aquatic education projects.

DEC has successfully used Sport Fish Restoration funding to develop and maintain its other Long Island Waterway Access Sites ("WAS"), including Mattituck Inlet WAS, Oyster Ponds WAS (East Marion), Oyster Bay Western Waterfront WAS, and Moriches Bay WAS. However, this is the first time DEC has used Sport Fish Restoration funds to acquire a marine access site.

Bill Perry, Lands and Waters Specialist with USFWS, said, "The Sport Fish Restoration Trust Fund provides crucial funding for boating access, fisheries research, and artificial reefs. Since its inception in 1952, New York DEC has received nearly $267 million dollars in federal funds for these projects that are matched by State funds, donations, and fishing license fees. The Boating Access program provided over $2 million in federal funds to this fantastic project. This site is one of only five DEC state-owned and managed facilities that provide access to the waters around Long Island. These areas are critical access points for the public to be able to boat, fish, and connect with nature. As the steward of these funds, USFWS is proud to partner with DEC, boaters and anglers, and fishing gear manufacturers in the success of this important project."

Senator Anthony H. Palumbo said, "Arbor Day is a time to reflect on our state and nation's continued conservation efforts and build on our shared goals of leaving the planet a greener and healthier place for our children, and future generations of Long Island residents. I want to thank the Reiter families for their generous contribution, which allowed the Hashamomuck Marine Waterway Access Site to come to fruition and their commitment to preserving and expanding access to the region's natural resources, the bay and our waterways."

Assemblymember Jodi Giglio said, "I want to thank the Reiter family, the DEC, USFWS, and all those who contributed their time, effort, and attention in creating this waterway access site for the people of New York. Peconic Bay is the central jewel of our East End ecosystem. These waters join the east end towns together, and the opportunity for increased public access to this amazing piece of nature is something we are all thankful for."

Assemblymember Steve Englebright said, "I am very thankful to Carl D. and Helen Reiter and their family for the very generous donation, which has greatly aided us in opening this beautiful waterway access site to the public. Coastal waterways are some of our most valuable natural resources here on Long Island and conserving them is of the utmost importance. That is why generous gifts like this mean so much. Through this and other efforts to preserve our natural open spaces we can help to keep Long Island a happy and healthy place now and for generations to come."

Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski said, "Safe, public access to our waterways is very important for not only recreation, but to keep people connected to our natural resources. This connection is important, because if you appreciate something, you're more likely to take care of it. As we honor and thank Carl and Helen Reiter and the Reiter family for their generosity on this Arbor Day, I want to thank the DEC for their work, and increasing the opportunity for public access to the Peconic Bay for all New Yorkers."

Scott A. Russell, Supervisor of the Town of Southold, said, "I would like to thank the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for establishing an asset that ensures that the public will have access to the Peconic Bay for years to come. The Peconic Bay is truly a natural treasure. The DEC's effort to make sure everyone can enjoy that treasure is something we can all be grateful for."

For more information on saltwater fishing opportunities in New York, visit DEC's website.

Reiter family plaque on a rock
Photo of new plaque honoring the Reiter family

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