As required by NYS Environmental Conservation Law § 13-0302 and stated in Chapter 475, Article II of the Suffolk County Code, the County was required complete an administrative review of the Shellfish Cultivation Zone (Zone) after the first five years of the Lease Program. In February of 2014, five years after the Shellfish Cultivation Zone was adopted by County, the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning (Department) issued a 45-day Public Notice that requested written comments on the Shellfish Cultivation Zone that was adopted in 2009. Click the links below to view the 45-day public notice and distribution list.
Shellfish Cultivation Zone Review Public Notice & Distribution List.
During the 45-day public comment period, which started on February 21, 2014 and ended on April 7, 2014; the Department received two comments. Neither of these comments made any objections to the existing Shellfish Cultivation Zone or requested that revisions be made to the same. The first comment received was from the Town of Huntington’s Department of Planning and Environment, which stated that they had no comment. The second comment was sent by Michael Craig, owner and operator of then Cycle #1 Leaseholder, East End Oysters in which he offered his support and appreciation for the County’s Lease Program.
In its deliberations, Department staff also considered factors other than public comments in its review of the Shellfish Cultivation Zone. These factors included former Temporary Marine Area Use Assignment sites that were no longer eligible for leasing, and changes in the ownership status of some oyster grant parcels. It was decided that the incorporation of these factors through modification of the Shellfish Cultivation Zone would have no significant effect on the extent of the area within which sites could be made available for lease over the next five years. Given these factors, the Director of Planning, drafted a letter to the County Executive notifying them of the determination to forgo any revisions to the Shellfish Cultivation Zone at this time; and but would instead focus on the more in-depth mandatory 10-year review of the Shellfish Cultivation Zone and make adjustments and revisions to the Lease Program at that time.
As discussed in the County Code, a report on the review was to be submitted to the Suffolk County Executive and Suffolk County Legislature. The letter to the County Executive informed the elected officials of the Planning Director’s determination to keep the existing Shellfish Cultivation Zone. This letter summarized the review process conducted and the determination that was been made; thus fulfilling the reporting. Please click the link below to view the letter discussed above.
Shellfish Cultivation Zone Five-Year Review and Determination