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NISSEQUOGUE RIVER PARK IMPROVEMENTS

Improvements include a new building to house DEC’s Division of Marine Resources, and a new marina and boat launch with easy access to the Sound.

By Erica Ringewald  |  November 6, 2017
NISSEQUOGUE RIVER PARK IMPROVEMENTS
The entrance to Nissequogue River State Park.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced preliminary plans to construct a new, 25,000-square foot building at Nissequogue River State Park that would serve as the headquarters for DEC’s Division of Marine Resources (DMR) at a joint public meeting with the Office of State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks). The proposed headquarters would house DEC’s bureaus of Marine Fisheries, Marine Habitat, Shellfisheries, and Oceans Program, in addition to the Marine Enforcement Unit, and include additional year-round law enforcement presence at the park. In addition, at the meeting State Parks provided an update on its ongoing remediation and revitalization efforts at Nissequogue River State Park.

DMR’s proposed building will be equipped with New York’s only FDA-certified shellfish laboratory, critical for maintaining the State’s 1.3 million acres of shellfish harvest area. The new facility is also projected to deliver economic benefits to the local community, including increased local business through permanent staff and regular public meetings. The proposed design plans and renderings are available on the DEC website http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/796.html.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “DEC’s Division of Marine Resources has a critically important mission, managing, regulating, and protecting all of the State’s marine resources, which encompasses all of Long Island, New York City, Westchester coastal areas, and the tidal sections of the Hudson River up to the newly christened Mario Cuomo Bridge. The proposed new building at Nissequogue River State Park will dramatically improve the division’s efforts and give our staff water access, while also benefiting visitors to the park and the local community.”

Plans for the proposed building and revitalization efforts at the park were shared at two public information sessions on November 2 at the Kings Park Fire Department headquarters at 2 East Main Street, Kings Park. At the meetings, DEC and its consultant D&B Engineers and Architects led a presentation on the building design and layout.

The new facility will provide permanent headquarters for more than 100 of DEC’s professional Marine Resources Division staff, while providing a year-round presence at the park. The new facility will also provide improved conference and meeting spaces for DEC and State Parks. Both agencies host numerous public hearings, information sessions, and meetings annually. Individuals who were unable to attend the two public meetings may still provide comment until November 30, 2017. Comments can be submitted by email to FW.Marine@dec.ny.gov or by mail to Stephanie Rekemeyer, NYSDEC, 205 Belle Mead Road, Suite #1, East Setauket, New York 11733.

The Marine Resources project, funded through NY Works, is expected to take approximately three years to complete. Final design work will take 12-18 months to complete and construction work will take an additional 12-18 months. The three phases of park improvements are funded through an appropriation secured by Senator John Flanagan.

"The Nissequogue River State Park Revitalization Initiative continues to make significant progress that is focused on safety and recreational improvements of the old Kings Park complex that is turning this site into a real community asset," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. "Through Senator Flanagan's deep commitment to the park and the community and tremendous partnership with the Department of Environmental Conservation we are reimagining these grounds into a high quality park.”

At the meeting, State Parks provided an update on its three phases of remediation and revitalization efforts at Nissequogue River State Park, including what has been completed to date and new projects scheduled to begin this fall. This fall State Parks will introduce several remediation and revitalization efforts at Nissequogue River State Park that further prioritize safety improvements and introduce recreational upgrades. Phase 3 includes: Full replacement of the outdated water distribution system, which includes brand new water lines and fire hydrants throughout the entire park complex; Demolition of 4 additional buildings; Design and construction of a brand new Nissequogue River State Park Marina. The current marinas, North and South, will be demolished with both areas returned to their natural wetlands. The new Marina will be relocated nearby and will provide more direct access to the Long Island Sound and avoids shallow sections currently plaguing boaters. The New Marina will feature new docks that will increase the amount of boat slips from 120 to 144, utilities, reinforced bulkheads, improved parking strictly for boaters, enhanced lighting, a new comfort station and pump out station; and the old administration building on site which currently houses the park office will receive a new and more energy efficient HVAC system.

State Parks officials also shared a recap of the first two completed phases that included the safe demolition of 28 buildings on the site of the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center with hazardous materials being removed from two additional buildings, which have been secured for future adaptive reuse such as a comfort station.

Construction of the park’s first picnic pavilion, new plantings, enhancements to the athletic fields, improved parking and fencing along scenic paths of the Long Island Sound, removal of steam tunnels and asphalt, site restoration, and the reconstruction of the north boat launch to improve public access to Nissequogue River have also been completed.

Nissequogue River State Park is located on the north shore of Long Island, and made up of hardwood forests and tidal wetlands that connect to the Long Island Sound. State Parks are owned and operated by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP).

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