Trustees To Host Public Meeting on Aquaculture Lease Program

East Hampton Town Hall

The East Hampton Town Trustees will host a public meeting on Wednesday, January 9, at 6 p.m. at East Hampton Town Hall on Pantigo Road in East Hampton to present information on the Suffolk County Aquaculture Lease Program (SCALP) and hear feedback about the program from community members. The meeting is a part of a 10-year review of the program, which provides secure access to marine space for private, commercial shellfish aquaculture was developed by Suffolk County for publicly-owned underwater lands in Peconic Bay and Gardiners Bay.

In 1884, New York State ceded 110,000 acres of Peconic and Gardiners bays to Suffolk County for the purpose of oyster cultivation. Currently, SCALP participants lease ten acre plots on which they may grow a variety of shellfish. These leases run for ten years.

There is a cap on new leases of 600 acres during the first 10 years of program implementation. Suffolk County authorizes and controls access to underwater lands and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regulates all aspects of shellfish cultivation and issues permits for it on these lands.

Trustees will discuss the history of the program, its administration and current status and outline lease program maps, contemporary aquaculture practices in the bay and will offer town residents an opportunity to weigh in on how this program is currently run and if any changes should be made moving forward.