Senator Kenneth P. LaValle is pleased that East End baymen will have the opportunity to begin leasing bay bottoms of the Peconic Estuary system for farming shellfish. Senator LaValle has been referred to as the “father of aquaculture” for sponsoring the law that provided for the successful leasing of underwater lands in Gardiner’s and Peconic Bays. The measure, which was signed into law in 2004 for the purpose of restoring the local shellfish population, amended a 1969 law that made underwater leasing too costly and cumbersome.
“I am very excited that the importance of this initiative was recognized and that the county has approved a plan that will allow our bay bottoms to become economically and environmentally beneficial to our communities,” said Senator LaValle. “The underwater leasing program being moved forward will improve our baymen’s livelihoods and Long Island’s shellfish industry.”
Suffolk County plans to begin slowly leasing portions of the Peconic Estuary system through the use of a lottery system. It is expected that the first leases will be signed by the end of this year or early next year.