Authorizes the use of mechanical harvesting gear, including hydraulic dredges within the entire boundary of a lease issued pursuant to this section, regardless of lease size, given a cultivation plan is submitted to and approved by the department.
Ayes (57): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Ball, Bonacic, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espaillat, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Kruger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Martins, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (5): Avella, Oppenheimer, Perkins, Rivera, Squadron
Ayes (8): Grisanti, LaValle, Little, Maziarz, O'Mara, Young, Serrano, Stewart-Cousins
Ayes W/R (2): Johnson, Oppenheimer
Nays (3): Avella, Espaillat, Perkins
Excused (1): Marcellino
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to authorizing the use of mechanical harvesting gear, including hydraulic dredges within the entire boundary of a lease, regardless of lease size, given a cultivation plan is made available
PURPOSE: To authorize the use of mechanical harvesting hear within the entire boundary of a lease issued, regardless of lease size, given a cultivation plan submitted to and approved by the New York State Department of Environmental conservation (DEC).
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Paragraph 6 of Section 13-0302 of the environmental Conservation Law, as added by Chapter 425 of the Laws of 2004, is amended to authorize a holder of a shellfish cultivation lease, issued pursuant to the Suffolk County shellfish Aquaculture Lease Program, to harvest oysters, hard clams, razor clams and other shellfish by mechanical means, including the use of hydraulic dredge, within the entire boundary of their leased site, given a cultivation plan is submitted to and approved by the DEC.
JUSTIFICATION: Chapter 425, Laws of New York 2004, amended the Environmental Conservation Law by adding Section 13-0302 under which the State of New York ceded 110,000 acres of underwater land in Peconic Bay and Gardiners Bay to Suffolk County for the purpose of shellfish cultivation, and authorized Suffolk County to develop a leasing program that would provide current and new shellfish growers access to these waters in an environmentally sustainable way. The Suffolk County shellfish Aquaculture Lease Program in Peconic Bay and Gardiners Bay was adopted by Suffolk County in 2009, and implementation is underway.
The Suffolk County Department of Planning completed two shellfish aquaculture lease cycles in 2010, and the third cycle will be completed during 2011. In Cycle 1 (conversion of Temporary Marine Use Assignments into leases), twenty-one lease applications are proceeding with the execution of a lease on their selected and approved lease site locations. A total of 195 acres are being leased thought his cycle. In Cycle 2 (private grant owners), the Aquaculture Lease Board approved lease overlays on three oyster grant without conditions (total area 275 acres); and approved, with conditions, lease overlays of 20 acres each on nine other oyster grants (total area of 180 acres). Five applicants are proceeding with the process to obtain a lease overlay on their private oyster grant parcels. In Cycle 3 (new leases subject to annual acreage cap limit), one hundred fifteen acres are available for lease. The entire application process will be conducted during 20 II to determine those
sites eligible for lease, and identify the applicants that will be able to proceed with the program.
The Suffolk County Aquaculture Lease Program presents an opportunity to expand the aquaculture industry in New York, with many new prospective shellfish farmers expressing interest in the program.
In many instances, mechanical and hydraulic harvesters are the only economically feasible way to cultivate shellfish. Off bottom culture and hand harvesting methods may not always be possible or effective. The leasing program is an environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture program in and of itself, which does not need additional gear restrictions. Mechanical harvesting of shellfish has been shown to have a relatively low impact on habitat. Shellfish growers have a vested interest in protecting the environment from which they make their livelihood and implement best management practices, themselves, to ensure future cultivation. Not allowing mechanical harvesting speaks against the intent of the leasing program and will severely limit opportunities in New York's shellfish industry. If shellfish harvesters cannot grow and cultivate shellfish in an economically feasible manner, they will bring their operation to other neighboring.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 4604--A A. 7120--A Cal. No. 1041 2011-2012 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y April 13, 2011 ___________IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sens. LAVALLE, MARCELLINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first report, amended on first report, ordered to a second report, and to be reprinted as amended, retaining its place in the order of second report IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. THIELE, MURRAY, GRAF, LOSQUADRO, RAIA -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. FITZPATRICK -- read once and referred to the Committee on Environmental Conservation -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to authorizing the use of mechanical harvesting gear, including hydraulic dredges within the entire boundary of a lease, regardless of lease size, given a cultivation plan is made available THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 6 of section 13-0302 of the environmental conservation law, as added by chapter 425 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows: 6. Department authority. Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this section: a. any person engaging in the cultivation or harvesting of shellfish in a shellfish cultivation zone pursuant to this section shall obtain a permit in accordance with section 13-0316 of this title;
[and]b. the department shall regulate and control the use of certain types of vessels and equipment for harvesting shellfish, requirements for reseeding, the right to enter upon such leased lands for reseeding or making shellfish population surveys, and enforce all other applicable state laws relating to said underwater lands; ANDEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10262-03-1 S. 4604--A 2 A. 7120--A
C. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, A LEASEHOLDER MAY HARVEST OYSTERS, HARD CLAMS, RAZOR CLAMS AND OTHER SHELLFISH AS PERMITTED IN THIS SECTION, BY MECHANICAL MEANS, INCLUDING THE USE OF A HYDRAULIC DREDGE. THE USE OF MECHANICAL HARVESTING GEAR, INCLUDING HYDRAULIC DREDGES, IS AUTHORIZED TO OCCUR WITHIN THE ENTIRE BOUNDARY OF A LEASE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, REGARDLESS OF LEASE SIZE, GIVEN A CULTIVATION PLAN IS SUBMITTED TO AND APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.