The Town of Huntington has released a draft of the Crab Meadow Watershed Plan for public review and comment. The stewardship plan has the intent to highlight best practices in future management of the Town’s largest watershed.
The Town Board will consider public comments through the end of April and then they will set a public hearing to adopt the plan. During the public comment period, residents are encouraged to suggest any additional information pertinent to watershed management that should be included in the final report to be adopted by the Town Board.
The Crab Meadow Watershed comprises about six square miles of downward sloping land that leads to a 400-acre tidal marsh designated as the Jerome A. Ambro Memorial Wetland. This estuary receives run-off from upland areas as far south as the Northport Veterans Administration property in Northport.
Best Management Practices are designed to take a collective look at actions that affect the environmental health of the wetland.
“Policies on everything from golf course pesticides to the types of road salt that we use can have an effect on the wetlands,” stated Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci. “By adopting a stewardship plan, the Town is looking to implement policies that are in the collective best interests of the environment.”
Councilman Mark Cuthbertson added: “In 2010 I met with a group of concerned citizens regarding Fuchs Pond and the Crab Meadow Watershed. That meeting lead to establishing a Citizens Advisory Committee to engage community input, seek grant funding and provide guidance for site management for the Crab Meadow Watershed Stewardship Plan. Based on the Committee’s work and Town Board authorization the Town received two grants totaling $62,000. Thanks to those grants one of Northport’s most fragile environmental habitats has become the focus of this Watershed Plan Draft. I look forward to the residents’ comments.”
The draft Crab Meadow Watershed Plan document can be viewed on the town’s website under the Planning & Environment department page, where comments on the plan can be submitted.
Comments can also be sent via postal mail to: Huntington Town Hall, Department of Maritime Services (Room 300), 100 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743.
The Crab Meadow Watershed Advisory Committee was appointed by Town Board resolution on April 13, 2010 and expanded by Town Board resolution on December 18, 2012. Committee members that worked on this project were: Marie Cancro and Kristin Colavito, Cornell Cooperative Extension John Fischer and Bill O’Brien, Trout Unlimited Stella Miller, Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society Joy Squires, Environmental Open Space and Park Review Advisory (EOSPA) Committee Richard Meyer and Dr. David Tonjes, Huntington Conservation Board Alex McKay, Suffolk County Park Trustees Nick Gibbons, Suffolk County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Dr. J. Bret Bennington, Hofstra University Center for Climate Study Lucienne Pereira, visual artist/muralist Jose Pillich, CUNY Graduate Center Program/Environmental Sciences Gerard Kababinsla, Makamah Beach Homeowners Association Ken Burr, Sound Shore Bluffs Property Owners Association Inc. Scott Sayer, Waterside Park Association Paul Zacher, Fort Salonga Association Ed Carr, Committee Chair, and Robert Litzke, Town Department of Maritime Services Margo Myles, Aidan Mallamo, David Kaufman, and Christian Granelli, Town Department of Planning and Environment Stephen Jimenez, Town Department of Citizen Services.
The current draft was the result of two community forums where over 100 participants listed concerns within the watershed. From this outreach, a plan was developed and reviewed by a group appointed by the Town Board representing civic and community stakeholders formed as the Crab Meadow Watershed Advisory Committee. The draft was then further reviewed by representatives in the Town’s Planning & Environment and Maritime Services Departments.
The plan was made possible by a $58,000 grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation’s Long Island Sound Futures Fund.
The Crab Meadow Watershed encompasses an area of approximately 3,560 square acres of land that drains directly to Crab Meadow Beach and the surrounding salt marshes and intertidal beaches, subsequently draining into the Long Island Sound.
Within the Crab Meadow Watershed there exists a collection of diverse habitats and wildlife that depend on its natural resources for food, water and shelter.