Early Thursday afternoon, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski climbed aboard a barge and headed into the Peconic Bay. Their mission: to harvest sugar kelp, a type of seaweed.
The officials participated in the first harvest of Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program’s pilot Peconic Estuary Seaweed Aquaculture Feasibility Study, which is funded in part through Suffolk County.
Jeff Rottkamp, owner of Fox Hollow Farm in Baiting Hollow, had been preparing to join Suffolk County’s farmland preservation program. But those plans changed in September, when a New York State Supreme Court judge deemed development on protected farmland illegal.
Suffolk County government for years delayed considering advanced wastewater treatment systems — to be installed at homes and featuring new technologies that reduce nitrogen discharges to a fraction of what traditional cesspools put out. Nitrogen discharges are considered a major cause of the brown and red tides and other algal blooms that have wreaked havoc in the bays and other water bodies of Suffolk.
Coastal flooding and strong winds remain the biggest threat to the North Fork as the effects of Tropical Storm Hermine are expected to be felt overnight Sunday into Monday, according to the National Weather Service, which has issued a tropical storm warning for the area. READ