The Suffolk County Aquaculture Lease Program's 10-year review advisory group will hold a public meeting on Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. via Zoom. Members of the public will have the ability to comment.
Under the program, parcels in Peconic and Gardiner's Bays have been leased for private commercial shellfish farming since 2010. A review is required to determine if and how the program, known as SCALP, should be changed and implemented in the remainder of 2020 and beyond, and includes an overall evaluation of it to date.
The leasing of bottomlands has proven controversial in East Hampton, leading to a now-settled lawsuit by the Devon Yacht Club in Amagansett claiming that floating oyster cages interfered with boating activities. Residents and representatives of marinas and private clubs have also complained to the East Hampton Town Trustees, who own and manage many of the town's waterways on behalf of the public, that the lease sites were set based on comments from commercial fishermen but no others who might have a stake in the matter, and that the program assumed oyster cages would be on the bay bottom and not floating at the surface, where, they say, they conflict with other waterborne pursuits. Some lease sites have been moved or abandoned as a consequence of the review process.
Advance registration for Wednesday's meeting is required and can be completed at bit.ly/2S89g6T. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing a unique link to join the meeting. More information is available by emailing Susan Filipowich at [email protected].