Thursday, May 30, 2024

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NY Times Notes Westport Oyster Controversy

Todays New York Times, in the latest installment in its summer-long series on the evolving nature of Long Island Sound, takes note of the controversy involving a plan to harvest oysters using suspended traps off of Westport.

The Times said the aquaculture technique is similar to an operation in the eastern waters of Long Island Sound by the Mohegan Indians that won approval last summer despite local opposition.

ғ(The Westport plan) has also drawn fire from boaters who say the racks will destroy the use of a sailboat racecourse that has been used since the late 1880’s, the newspaper said.

ԓThe Westport developer, Dr. John M. Garofalo an obstetrician who founded his company, Mariculture Unlimited, two years ago ח said he specifically patterned his plan after the Mohegan project.

The leases he has signed with the state give him the right to use the bottom, and he contends that the use of the water column above that, which requires a separate approval from the state and United States Army Corps of Engineers, would be far enough below the surface ӗ 17 feet at high tide to be unobtrusive.

“גWe’re asking for the same thing, the same kind of gear as the Mohegans, and if they don’t give it to us, they have to explain what makes us different, he said.Ҕ

The Army Corps of Engineers plans a public hearing on the Westporters application July 23 in Milford.

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