Yacht club sues NY county over oyster farms
January 5, 2018
By Liza Mayer
Officials in Suffolk County, New York, implementing agencies and leaseholders in the county’s aquaculture lease program are facing a lawsuit from a yacht club in the area over oyster farms in Gardiner's Bay off Amagansett.
The Devon Yacht Club, which has 326 member families, claims the aquaculture lease board did not consider its user group, the recreational boaters of Devon, before it granted leases in July.
The club cited vested property rights, historical access, and navigability in its complaint, among other issues. It said roughly 120 acres “are in the heart of the area used for Devon’s members and the kids it teaches at sailing camp,” reported The East Hampton Star.
It filed a lawsuit in the State Supreme Court seeking to bar the leaseholders near the club from undertaking or continuing any action related to oyster farming at lease sites granted by the county’s aquaculture lease board in July, or engaging in any other activity that would interfere with sailing on Gardiner’s Bay, said the report.
The parcels are leased for private, commercial shellfish cultivation.
During public meetings held last fall the county’s director of sustainability, Dorian Dale, said the aquaculture lease program “holds great promise in terms of improved water quality and revival of a shellfish industry that once provided considerable economic benefits, not to mention very tasty appetizers.”