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Oyster Bay OKs Massapequa Creek Watershed Plan

Plan has a long-term vision for protecting the watershed area.

The completed a long process Tuesday that gave the OK to a plan outlining the future of the Massapequa Creek watershed.

With the assistance of an $88,000 state grant, the town studied and signed on to a plan developed by the South Shore Estuary Reserve that outlines a long-term vision for the vast watershed area. The Massapequa Creek is part of that system stretching across the southern shore of Long Island.

The creek's waters flow into South Oyster Bay. The plan's vision is to protect the watershed through a variety of steps, including improving its water quality and maintaining its natural habitat of Massapequa Creek and its surrounding corridor. The Massapequa Preserve contains coastal streams, ponds, lakes, and reservoirs, freshwater and tidal wetlands, and woods which  support an array of vegetation and wildlife.

The creek plan is a key component of a larger state effort adopted in April 2001, to combat the threat of over-development, pollution related to the area's growth, potentially poor land use and resource management.

Town Supervisor John Venditto said that among the projects undertaken with the grant was developing an action plan for the Massapequa Creek watershed. The next step, said Venditto, will be to seek grants to implement the recommendations of the plan.

The South Shore Estuary Reserve is a vast watershed extending from the western boundary of the Town of Hempstead to the eastern shoreline of Shinnecock Bay and includes all water and underground lands which gather precipitation as groundwater or run-off between the Atlantic barrier islands and the Long Island Expressway. 

The South Shore Estuary Act created the reserve in 1993 to protect and manage the watershed area, along with an Estuary Reserve Council to oversee it. The Council is charged with caring for the bays and tributaries of the watershed's bays, tributaries, wetlands and wildlife, according to their website.

The Massapequa Creek Watershed Management and Corridor Restoration Plan, can be viewed on the South Shore Estuary Web site at www.estuary.cog.ny.us. Copies and a CD of the plan are also available at the Massapequa Bar Harbour and Farmingdale Public Libraries. 

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