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DEC ANNOUNCES OPENING OF HASHAMOMUCK MARINE WATERWAY ACCESS SITE
Site Provides DEC’s First Peconic Bay Public Fishing and Boating Access Site
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the opening of the Hashamomuck Marine Waterway Access Site in the town of Southold, Suffolk County. The site 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.
“The Peconic Bay is a spectacular recreational resource for the region and DEC is thrilled to announce the grand opening of this new boat launch, which will improve visitors’ access to these waters,” Commissioner Seggos said. “DEC thanks our federal partners and the generous property owners who helped us to create the Hashamomuck Marine Waterway Access Site and support our ongoing work to help secure free, publicly accessible fishing and boating destinations on Long Island’s coast.”
The Hashamomuck Marine Waterway Access Site is a 3.2-acre waterfront property located at 750 Old Main Road, Southold, and now includes a public boat ramp, canoe and kayak launch, accessible pathway, and 37-vehicle parking lot for 31 trailers and six cars. These amenities are universally accessible and available to the public free of charge. A boat pump-out station, washdown station, and additional plantings will be added to the site later this year.
DEC purchased the Southold property, formerly known as The Old Barge Restaurant, in 2012 from the Reiter family of Mattituck. The purchase and construction was funded with a Sport Fish Restoration Program grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), matched by State funding. In addition, a generous charitable donation from the Carl D. and Helen Reiter and Reiter-Denson families helped DEC acquire the parcel.
“My brother, Dan Reiter, and I are extremely pleased that the State of New York and its Department of Environmental Conservation have made it possible to transform our property from one that was, for nearly three quarters of a century, a commercial seafood restaurant to a property having a much broader scale of application,” Carol Denson, former manager of the property for the Reiter family, said. “The Hashamomuck Marine Waterway Access Site will create public boating access to Long Island’s abundant natural resources on the Peconic Bay. We believe that this shift in focus 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 further believe that this action, by the State will sustain the importance of this community’s marine heritage.”
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proud to partner with DEC’s Division of Marine Resources, along with boaters and anglers on the Hashamomuck Marine Waterway Access Site," stated Bill Perry, who coordinates grants for boating access, boating infrastructure, and the National Coastal Wetland Conservation Grant Program for the USFWS’s North Atlantic-Appalachian Region. "This site will provide free public access to the waters of Long Island and New York State. Thanks to excise taxes on fishing tackle, motorboat fuel, and small engines, which pay into the Sport Fish Restoration Trust Fund, the Boating Access program provided over $2 million in federal funds to this fantastic project. This site becomes one of only five 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."
Southold Town Supervisor Scott A. Russell said, “This marine waterway access site allows residents the opportunity to fully enjoy our water bodies especially the Peconic Bay. What this new facility offers is astonishing and we are proud to serve as host. We owe a debt of gratitude to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for taking a vision and making it a reality.”
DEC successfully used Sport Fish Restoration funding to develop and maintain its other Long Island Waterway Access Sites, including Mattituck Inlet, Oyster Ponds (East Marion), Oyster Bay Western Waterfront, and Moriches Bay. However, this is the first time DEC has used Sport Fish Restoration funds to acquire a marine access site.
The opening of this new access site supports Governor Cuomo's Adventure NY Initiative to connect people to nature and provide increased access to the outdoors so that New Yorkers of all ages and abilities can experience a wide range of hands-on recreational activities. Additionally, improved fishing access to Peconic Bay is part of the Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting, an effort to improve recreational activities and boost tourism opportunities throughout the State.
The access site is one of many other achievements by Governor Cuomo to help promote recreational fishing, restore marine ecosystems, strengthen Long Island’s economy, and combat climate change. They include New York's Artificial Reef Program, the nation's largest offshore wind agreement, record investments in the Environmental Protection Fund and clean water infrastructure, a ban on offshore drilling, passage of the 'bunker bill' to prohibit the use of purse seines for menhaden, and continued progress on the Long Island Shellfish Restoration initiative.
For more information on Saltwater Fishing opportunities in New York and to enroll in the recreational marine fishing registry, visit DEC’s website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7755.html.