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Working Waterfront: Our Lifeblood

posted Jan 7, 2015, 5:37 AM by Doug Roberts   [ updated Jan 12, 2015, 3:29 PM ]
It's interesting to read that folks elsewhere on the North Fork would try to create a freshwater shrimp farm on land within a stone's throw of Greenport, one of Long Island's last, great, working waterfronts. I don't know anything about shrimp farming and little about aquaculture.  But here's what I do know: fishing and shellfishing are a way of life here in Greenport.  I'd like to see The Village do more to support and promote our working waterfront, so that we maintain this important connection to our history and ensure that future Greenporters will be able to earn a living on our waterfront.

Did you realize that fishermen who use our commercial fishing dock (aka "The Railroad Dock" or "The County Dock") are not able to offload their product here? They take their fish to Alice's (a private dock), or to Montauk or Shinnecock.  Over the years we've turned away commercial fishing boats here, sending jobs and potential revenue to other communities.  We need to embrace commercial fishing and make sure it provides jobs for Greenporters for years to come.  We also need to tighten up our policies and their enforcement down on our railroad dock to make sure that we are consistent and fair to all the dock's tenants.  

We need to provide incentives to groups like Captain David Berson and Glory Go Green, or Little Creek Oysters, both of whom are running educational and conservation programs about the Bay, aquaculture, and Greenport's waterfront.

We also need to protect our wetlands.  Any of us who have had the privilege of being on a boat in Greenport harbor can easily see the environmental hazards sitting in our waters just out of eyesight from tourists on land- aging, rusting vessels sitting in our waters leaking various substances into our waters.  The Village Board has the ability to create and enforce laws to conserve our wetlands, and I look forward to working toward this goal, including exploring the establishment of a new conservation and sustainability committee. 

As we welcome more weekend homeowners and tourists each season, we need to work harder to protect the waterfront lifeblood of our local economy.  If you have ideas for how The Village can do this, please share them with me @wearegreenport, on Facebook at Wearegreenport, or by email at  

Next Meet and Greet is 1/20 730pm (after VB Work Session) at Little Creek Oysters.  Also- look for me knocking on your door.  If you have a specific time you'd like me to come by email me.  Otherwise, my apologies in advance if I bug you during dinner and I promise to be brief!