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May 4, 2016 9:40 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Water Protection Plan Adopted After Years Of Review

May 4, 2016 10:18 AM

The Southampton Town Board voted Tuesday to adopt the Coastal Resources and Water Protection Plan, more than four years after the board began reviewing it.

The protection plan, which highlights 13 policies to guide the town to preserving water quality, was originally proposed as a local waterfront revitalization program, or LWRP, and would have required both federal and state approval to be implemented. That has since changed, as some Town Board members, as well as members of the community, did not want to cede local control to the State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Instead, the 300-page document has been adopted as part of the town’s Comprehensive Plan. But it still focuses on the subjects that had been included in the LWRP, including local wildlife, surface water and groundwater, erosion, farmland, beach access, commercial and recreational fishing and shellfishing, and local fisheries.

“Everyone is happy,” Councilman John Bouvier said. “It was one of the first things we tackled as a new administration.”

All references to the state have been removed from the document. Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said in an interview that the document is “a bunch of suggestions, things to consider in the future.”

He added, “It has been modified, it has been watered down.”

The plan aims to protect water quality, restore diversity to the ecosystem, improve air quality on the waterfront, minimize environmental degradation, protect water dependent uses, and more.

Board Backs Legislation

The Town Board adopted a resolution in support of bills introduced in both the State Senate and Assembly that seek to clarify and strengthen the powers of the Southampton Town Trustees on ocean beaches.

The identical bills introduced by Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and Senator Kenneth P. LaValle last month clarify the powers of the Trustees regarding the regulation of the use of ocean beaches in the town. Additionally, the bills make clear that the town owns the underwater lands, though the Trustees have the right to control the activity that goes on there.

The bills also clarify that the Trustees can regulate the public’s use of the easement between the high water mark and the crest of the sand dune.

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Fabulous. We badly need to be very mindful of protecting our natural
resources - which are the basis of our resort economy and way of life here.
By sag2harbor (117), sag harbor on May 4, 16 6:34 PM
3 members liked this comment
Unfortunately, this is a piece of legislation that, as previously proposed and as now passed, will have little to no impact on water quality issue as it deals only with properties/land use regulation within the jurisdiction of Southampton Town. For it to have any meaningful impact, the villages within the Town of Southampton need to be active participants as well. It is doubtful as Village input and cooperation was not really sought during the drafting of this legislation.
By roverton (57), Westhampton on May 5, 16 5:35 PM
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