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Monday, October 20, 2014
South Shore Blueway Trail draft plan presented
by Mark Treske
photo courtesy of Going Costal
THIS MAP OF THE BLUEWAY TRAIL was shown at the meeting.

The draft plan for the proposed South Shore Blueway Trail was presented for public comment at a meeting November 14 at Village Hall in Freeport.

The Blueway Trail is a proposal for a 40-mile loop for non-motorized boats throughout the bays and inlets of Nassau County, connecting boat ramps and other places suitable for boats as well as stopover points along the circuit.

Kyle Rabin, the chair of the advisory committee, introduced Barbara La Rocco, president of Going Costal, a consulting firm (“Connecting People and Coastal Resources”) who prepared the plan with the assistance and input of the New York Department of State, volunteers and the advisory committee, a group of persons from governmental, community and environmental organizations joined by other stakeholders.

The road to the draft report

The plan began with money in the 2006 Nassau County Environmental Bond act dedicated to creating a water trail, combined with matching funds from Nassau County and the village of Freeport

Why have a water trail? The draft plan lists the many advantages that the trail would provide:

• Showcase one of Nassau’s greatest assets, its waterfront.

• Encourage recreation and healthy lifestyles.

• Increase environmental awareness and a connection with Long Island history.

• Teach boater awareness.

• Create a vehicle to encourage ecotourism and economic development. Ms La Rocco said that there are 1.8 million paddlers (kayak and stand-up paddlers) in New York state – a large potential market. Thus the trail could improve the local quality of life.

As presented in the draft plan, the loop would include the following sites, connected by a trail (although Ms. La Rocca noted that the accompanying map “should not be used for navigational purposes”):

• Woodmere

• Hewlett

• Bay Park

• Bay Park boat ramp

• Harbor Isle

• Long Beach Boat Ramp

• Oceanside Park

• Marine Nature Station Area (stopover)

• Baldwin Park

• Milburn Creek

• Waterfront Park, Freeport

• Seabreeze Park, Freeport (stopover)

• Cow Meadow Park, Freeport

• Albany Avenue, Freeport

• Levy Park

• Newbridge Road Park

• Wantagh Park

• Cedar Creek Park

• Seamans Neck Park

• Alhambra Road

• Burns Park

• Tobay Beach (stopover)

• Zachs Bay (stopover)

• Green Isle (stopover)

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