Man charged for dumping 24-foot boat in Pine Barrens

The Central Pine Barrens Commission and Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office made a joint arrest of Timothy Hughes of Shirley, who dumped his 24-foot 1980 Century boat in the Pine Barrens Core Preservation Area in Manorville. 

Mr. Hughes, 35, turned himself in to Sheriff’s deputies Monday, Feb. 5, and received a misdemeanor charge for violating Suffolk County Code 433-6. The charge states that he “knowingly dump[ed]… offensive materials or conveyances (including but not limited to aircraft, vehicles, vessels or the parts thereof.” 

Mr. Hughes faces a fine of up to $10,000 for this violation. 

Additionally, he was issued an appearance ticket for violating Brookhaven Town Code 45-4K2, which prohibits dumping in the area. 

At a news conference last Wednesday, Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. commended the deputies for their investigatory efforts. 

“The Pine Barrens is one of Suffolk County’s greatest treasures,” Mr. Toulon said in a news release. “The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office conducts regular enforcement of dumping cases and brings bad actors to justice.” 

The Long Island Central Pine Barrens is 105,000 acres of preserved land that encompasses portions of eastern Brookhaven Town, southern Riverhead Town and western Southampton Town.

In 1993, New York State established the Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission under the Environmental Conservation Law. The commission consists of five voting members: the supervisors of Brookhaven, Riverhead and Southampton towns, the Suffolk County executive and a member appointed by the governor. 

The town supervisors are responsible for enforcing their own local laws in compliance with the Long Island Pine Barrens Protection Act.

“Dumping in the Pine Barrens is illegal, and we applaud the enforcement of the laws that protect the Pine Barrens,” said Richard Amper, executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, a non-governmental advocacy group. “Preservation of the pristine land is what is called for, not contamination.”

Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Daniel Panico said in a news release that town officials have invested in a variety of “new technologies to catch and curtail illegal dumping.” 

Additionally, there are other ways to legally dispose of boats and other waste — for example Mr. Panico said Brookhaven Town residents can throw away up to 500 pounds of trash at the landfill for free every Saturday. 

“Those who chose to illegally dump will be caught and prosecuted because all levels of government are now actively working together,” Mr. Panico said. “I thank the sheriff and his deputies for their diligence and work — we value their partnership.”

To report any illegal dumping in the area, call 1-877-BARRENS.

Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon participates in free Black History Month event at the Suffolk