Dear Friend of the Shellfish Farmer,
If you are a friend of clean water, biodiversity, climate-friendly regenerative businesses, coastline protection, Earth and her oceans read on…..
Join us in support of our shellfish farmers, and support the inclusion of commercial seaweed (kelp) cultivation. A deadline is upon us for public comments on the Suffolk County Shellfish Aquaculture Lease Program — December 15, 2020.
Here’s information on the December 15th public meeting, and ways to comment via email or in writing.
There is currently a 10-year review panel of the Suffolk County Aquaculture Lease Program (SCALP) being overseen by the SC Legislature’s Environment, Parks and Agriculture (EPA) committee, chaired by Legislator Kara Hahn with Legislator Al Krupski, Vice Chair.
The 10-year review process has been going on for many months, with several meetings involving different stakeholder groups including the lease-holders, commercial fisherman, yacht clubs etc., and that process has come to an end.
December 2020 Meetings Scheduled
The legislation incorporating the changes to the SCALP law that were the result of the 10-year review are expected, not guaranteed, to be introduced at the next General Meeting of the Legislature on 12/1/20. If it is introduced on that date, it will not be discussed or considered at the meeting, just introduced or what we refer to as “laid on the table” or LOT.
It will then be assigned to a committee, presumably EPA, where at their meeting on 12/7, it will be tabled for a public hearing at the next General Meeting on 12/15 – this is where you can offer public comments via ZOOM, via email or in writing.
Here is the link to the SCALP program – on the left sidebar is a link to the Ten Year Review Project under Sections: https://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/Economic-Development-and-Planning/Planning-and-Environment/Environmental-Planning-and-Aquaculture/Shellfish-Aquaculture-Lease-Program
Find agendas for meetings, reports, maps and public comments at https://www.scnylegislature.us/149/Meeting-Information
General letter in support of the Aquaculture Lease Program – send either to Legislator Kara Hahn, Chair: Kara.Hahn@suffolkcountyny.gov and Legislator Al Krupski, Vice Chair: al.Krupski@suffolkcountyny.gov Suffolk County Environment, Parks and Agriculture (EPA) committee or the Legislative Clerk at Clerk.Legislature@suffolkcountyny.gov with the request that it be distributed to all the legislators.
You can also sign and comment on this petition from the Long Island Oyster Growers Association, which highlights key facts:
We support oyster and kelp farming
In sum, we support Suffolk County continuing the lease program for shellfish farming operations and we emphatically support the inclusion of commercial seaweed (kelp) cultivation.
Why include kelp?
-it’s a carbon sink, storing 20x more CO2 per acre than land forests.
–a super-faster grower, reducing excess nitrogen, and providing habit for hundreds marine species.
–a coastline safeguard, protecting coastlines from storm surges.
-a super-food, with fast-growing new market, being used for food. medicine, cosmetics, animal feed, biofuel, and even a new bio-plastic. You can buy from Atlantic Sea Farms, working with 2 dozen Maine lobstermen and fishermen.
-a valuable fertilizer, used on farms and in home gardens. Check out Soil and Seaweed: Farming Our Way to a Climate Solution.
-a big win-win-win for the East End — Stony Brook has done the research finding sugar kelp (Saccharina latissma) is able to grow using “commercial-style” techniques in all three of our estuaries. This is climate-friendly regenerative businesses generating $9.3 million in economic activity to Suffolk County.
There is alot of interest in kelp as a second crop among Long Island’s three dozen oyster farmers. Right now other states permit commercial growing and New York only allows kelp growing for experimental use. And a local market cannot start to develop as sugar kelp is presently not permitted for human consumption in our state.
Won’t you join us in support of our shellfish farmers, and support the inclusion of commercial seaweed (kelp) cultivation.
Mary Morgan and Diane Shapiro
Oceans + Coastal Sinks Team
Drawdown East End
Local Solutions to Reverse Global Warming