senate Bill S4287B

Signed by Governor

Establishes seagrass protection act

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed by Governor
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actions

  • 28 / Mar / 2011
    • REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 01 / Jun / 2011
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 01 / Jun / 2011
    • PRINT NUMBER 4287A
  • 07 / Jun / 2011
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO COMMERCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS
  • 22 / Jun / 2011
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 22 / Jun / 2011
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1498
  • 22 / Jun / 2011
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A7988
  • 24 / Jun / 2011
    • SUBSTITUTION RECONSIDERED
  • 24 / Jun / 2011
    • RESTORED TO THIRD READING
  • 24 / Jun / 2011
    • RECOMMITTED TO RULES
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 30 / Mar / 2012
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 30 / Mar / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 4287B
  • 26 / Apr / 2012
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.593
  • 30 / Apr / 2012
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 01 / May / 2012
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 07 / May / 2012
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 07 / May / 2012
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 07 / May / 2012
    • REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 14 / May / 2012
    • SUBSTITUTED FOR A7988A
  • 14 / May / 2012
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.274
  • 14 / May / 2012
    • REPASSED ASSEMBLY
  • 14 / May / 2012
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 20 / Jul / 2012
    • DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
  • 31 / Jul / 2012
    • SIGNED CHAP.272

Summary

Establishes the seagrass protection act; defines terms; outlines department of environmental conservation's responsibilities in developing seagrass management areas.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7988A
Versions:
S4287
S4287A
S4287B
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 13 Title 7 ยงยง13-0701 - 13-0705, En Con L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S7235A, A10269B, S8343
2011-2012: S2741A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4287B REVISED 05/07/12

TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to
establishing the seagrass protection act

PURPOSE:
To authorize the Department of Environmental Conservation to adopt
rules and regulations to regulate coastal and marine activities that
threaten seagrass.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
The bill amends Article 13 of the environmental conservation law by
adding a new Title 7 granting DEC the authority to:

o Designate seagrass management areas;
o Restrict the types of mechanically powered fishing gear in seagrass
areas that could be harmful to the grass;
o Make this information available on the DEC website; and
o Develop and adopt, after consultation with stakeholders, a seagrass
management plan for designated seagrass management areas to protect
seagrass beds and preserve traditional recreational activities.

JUSTIFICATION:
New York seagrass beds are a vital habitat and nursery grounds for
numerous commercially, recreationally and ecologically important fish
and shellfish species. Seagrass beds used to be much larger - some
estimates reaching as large as 200,000 acres in 1930. Today only
21,803 acres remain. Seagrass is such a vital part of our underwater
environment. The DEC should have authority to protect it. The
substance of this legislation was recommended by the NYS Seagrass
Task Force.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the one hundred fiftieth day after it
shall have become a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 4287--B

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 28, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. JOHNSON, AVELLA -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to  the  Committee  on  Environmental
  Conservation  -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted
  as amended and recommitted to said committee  --  recommitted  to  the
  Committee on Environmental Conservation in accordance with Senate Rule
  6,  sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as
  amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the  environmental  conservation  law,  in  relation  to
  establishing the seagrass protection act

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Article 13 of the environmental conservation law is amended
by adding a new title 7 to read as follows:
                                  TITLE 7
                         SEAGRASS PROTECTION ACT
SECTION 13-0701. SHORT TITLE.
        13-0703. DEFINITIONS.
        13-0705. DEPARTMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES.
S 13-0701. SHORT TITLE.
  THIS ACT SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED AS  THE  SEAGRASS  PROTECTION
ACT.
S 13-0703. DEFINITIONS.
  1.  "COASTAL COMMUNITY" SHALL MEAN A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, AS DEFINED
IN SECTION TWO OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW, IN NASSAU AND SUFFOLK COUN-
TIES.
  2. "SEAGRASS" SHALL MEAN ROOTED,  VASCULAR,  FLOWERING  MARINE  PLANTS
THAT  ARE  SUBMERGED  IN  NEW  YORK'S BAYS AND COASTAL WATERS, INCLUDING
ZOSTERA MARINA AND RUPPIA MARITIMA.
S 13-0705. DEPARTMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10538-04-2

S. 4287--B                          2

  1.  THE DEPARTMENT SHALL DESIGNATE SEAGRASS MANAGEMENT  AREAS.  DESIG-
NATION  OF  SUCH  AREAS  SHALL INCLUDE CONSIDERATION, ON A GEOGRAPHIC OR
ESTUARINE BASIS, OF LIKELY THREATS TO SEAGRASS.
  2.  FOR EACH DESIGNATED SEAGRASS MANAGEMENT AREA, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL
DEVELOP AND ADOPT A SEAGRASS MANAGEMENT PLAN TO GUIDE THE DEVELOPMENT OF
RULES AND REGULATIONS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION  THREE  OF  THIS  SECTION.
SUCH  PLAN SHALL BE DEVELOPED AFTER CONSULTATION WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENTS,
REPRESENTATIVES OF RECREATIONAL BOATING INTERESTS, THE MARINE INDUSTRIES
(INCLUDING COMMERCIAL AND RECREATIONAL SHELL FISHERMEN,  AND  COMMERCIAL
SHELL  FISH  FARMERS), AFFECTED PROPERTY OWNERS, AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS,
SO AS TO EFFECTIVELY MANAGE  AND  PROTECT  SEAGRASS  BEDS  AND  SEAGRASS
RESTORATION EFFORTS AT THOSE LOCATIONS AT WHICH THE RESTORATION OF SEAG-
RASS  IS REASONABLY POSSIBLE.  SUCH PLANS SHALL, TO THE EXTENT PRACTICA-
BLE, TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION, THE GOALS OF  EXISTING  ESTUARY  PROGRAMS.
IN  ADDITION,  SEAGRASS  MANAGEMENT  PLANS SHALL SEEK TO PRESERVE TRADI-
TIONAL RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING RECREATIONAL BOATING AND MARI-
NA OPERATIONS, AS WELL AS FINFISHING,  SHELLFISHING  AND  TOURISM  WHILE
ENSURING  SUCH  ACTIVITIES DO NOT THREATEN SEAGRASS BEDS OR NEGATE SEAG-
RASS RESTORATION EFFORTS.
  3. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO ADOPT  RULES  AND  REGU-
LATIONS TO REGULATE COASTAL AND MARINE ACTIVITIES THAT THREATEN SEAGRASS
BEDS OR SEAGRASS RESTORATION EFFORTS.
  4.  THE  DEPARTMENT  SHALL  HAVE  THE AUTHORITY TO RESTRICT THE USE OF
MECHANICAL-POWERED FISHING  OR  SHELLFISHING  GEAR  WHICH  MAY  DIRECTLY
IMPACT SEAGRASS BEDS, INCLUDING CHURNING, DREDGES, RAKES AND TONGS.
  5.  THE DEPARTMENT SHALL IDENTIFY WATER QUALITY IMPACTS SUCH AS NITRO-
GEN POLLUTION AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOW TO MINIMIZE SUCH IMPACTS.
  6. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL MAKE INFORMATION CONCERNING THE IMPORTANCE  OF
SEAGRASS  PROTECTION  AND  THE  STATUS  OF  SEAGRASS RESTORATION EFFORTS
AVAILABLE ON THE DEPARTMENT WEBSITE.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred fiftieth day  after
it shall have become a law.

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