Hope for acquiring environmentally sensitive lands

County legislators approve updated list


The Suffolk County Legislature approved an updated list of environmentally sensitive properties to be acquired in each town on Tuesday.

Brookhaven Town has 22 parcels. Five are in the Carmans River Watershed Addition; 10 properties are in the Beaverdam Creek Watershed, the largest amount identified within the town. The local parcels range from 6.80 acres in the Carmans River Watershed Addition to 3 acres and under, the smallest at 1.81 acres.

In the Beaverdam Creek Watershed, the largest is listed at 1.06 acres with subsequent smaller lots under an acre.

Terrell’s River County Park in Center Moriches had two small parcels at 0.28 acres; the remainder on the list for the town were in Rocky Point.

Legislature presiding officer Rob Calarco, who introduced the resolution, explained the basis of the update, emphasizing that it is a wish list.

“Under the old Drinking Water Protection Program, monies were set aside for the county to spend in each township,” Calarco explained, refer- ring to an environment trust fund created and made available with funds from the 1/4 percent sales and compensating use tax. “Towns helped us identify the parcels,” he said.

The county currently has $238,738 in its environment trust fund balance for Brookhaven Town for acquisitions.

Some parcels had been removed, others have been added, Calarco said.

“It’s something we periodically have to do. So this is an update of priority parcels,” he added.

The Post-Morrow Foundation in Brookhaven hamlet has been a veritable steward of the Beaverdam Creek as well as the surrounding area.

“Just south of Sunrise in the Beaver- dam Creek headwaters, between Fire- man’s Park and land that the county owns, are where some of those parcels lie,” said Post-Morrow Foundation vice president Tom Williams of the county list.

“The Deer Run Farm property and the Post-Morrow homestead are along the Beaverdam Creek that we own, as well as several parcels along the Beaverdam Creek bridge.”

(Deer Run Farm was preserved as a 40-acre working farm run by the Nolan family in a partnership with Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lohmann, Suffolk County and the Foundation.)

Sixty-two acres have been preserved by Post-Morrow below the bridge alone.

Calarco said the county list could contain small lots attached to residential properties.

“The county will periodically canvass the property owner,” Calarco said. “It’s voluntary as to if they want to sell. Southold and Smithtown townships have no new parcels because we’ve spent the money [of environmentally sensitive parcels] in their accounts.”


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