State Parks Showcases New Safety, Access and Recreational Efforts Underway in the Park
Proposed DEC Facility Would Improve Marine Resources Management and Protection and Supplement Law Enforcement Presence at Park
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today 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. Click here to view renderings of the proposed building. The proposed new headquarters design plans and renderings are available on DEC's website.
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 unable to attend the two public meetings may still provide comment until November 30, 2017. Comments can be submitted by email to FW.Marine 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).
Senator Tom O'Mara, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "The state's Division of Marine Resources plays a fundamental role in the conservation, preservation, and protection of vital natural resources. The division's new headquarters at Nissequogue River State Park will enhance and strengthen this critically important work."
More on DEC's Division of Marine Resources
DEC's DMR is responsible for the management, regulation, and protection of all marine resources within the Marine and Coastal District of New York State. This area encompasses all of Long Island, New York City, Westchester coastal areas and the tidal sections of the Hudson River up to the Tappan Zee Bridge.
Primary responsibilities include management of fisheries resources at the state, interstate and federal levels, certification of nearly 1.3 million acres of shellfish harvest area, and protect and enhance marine habitats under coastal development. It is the only DEC Division not headquartered in Albany and for the last twenty years, the Division has worked out of leased space several miles from marine access. Locating DMR at Nissequogue River State Park will dramatically improve efficiencies while providing benefits to the Park and local community. Permanently headquarter 100 plus DEC professional staff.
"DEC's new Marine Resources Headquarters will not only dramatically improve our management and protection of vital marine resources but also advance an important partnership with our sister agency, State Parks, to better deliver our common programs. We are looking forward to becoming a new neighbor with the King's Park Community and believe this project will benefit the larger community," said James Gilmore, Director of DEC's Marine Resources Division.