Governor Andrew Cuomo has included $200,000 in the 2017 Executive Budget for the Peconic Estuary Program.
Dubbed one of the “Last Great Places in the western hemisphere” by the Nature Conservancy, the Peconic Estuary watershed begins at Brookhaven National Lab with the headwaters of the Peconic River,
spans the several bays from Flanders to Gardiners, and ends in Block Island Sound between Plum Island and Montauk Point.
More than 125,000 land acres and 158,000 surface water acres are included in the Peconic Estuary.
As a Suffolk County Legislator in 1991, State Assemblyman Fred Thiele sponsored legislation which nominated the Peconic Estuary for inclusion in the National Estuary Program.
In 1993, the Peconic Estuary became the 20th estuary in the nation to receive the designation as an “Estuary of National Significance” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Currently there are 28 estuaries in the program.
“With the proposed state funding for the Peconic Estuary, the total funding from federal, state and county sources for 2017 would total about $1 million,” said Mr. Thiele. “With changes to the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund, the five East End towns can use the CPF to match these funds dollar for dollar and double the level of funding. With this partnership, the Peconic Estuary Program will be poised to aggressively pursue a strategy to improve water quality, habitat and productivity in the estuary. This is a turning point for our bays.”
As part of the National Estuary Program, the Peconic Estuary Program is a partnership of local, state, and federal governments, citizen and environmental groups, businesses and industries, and academic institutions.
“I thank the Governor for the inclusion of these funds,” said Mr. Thiele. “I am confident these funds will be included in the Budget to be
approved by April 1, 2017.”