07/13/17 5:55am
07/13/2017 5:55 AM

Kevin McDonald remembers 1985, when brown tide was first detected in Peconic Bay. He was recently married, and he and his wife had purchased snorkels and face masks to explore the bay, where the water color was a “light-colored coffee” and it was hard to see six inches in front of their faces.

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09/02/16 6:00am
09/02/2016 6:00 AM

TR0901_peconic_C.jpg

Over the past month, the Peconic Estuary has been hit with one environmental blow after another, a Stony Brook biologist and marine researcher said, thanks in part to rising temperatures in East End waterways. READ

05/12/16 3:00pm
05/12/2016 3:00 PM

Hundreds of bunker, their mouths yawning open as they gape for oxygenated water and to clean their gills, were filmed swimming in the Peconic River Wednesday.

It’s a sign that a harmful algal bloom, known as mahogany tide, could soon cause another large fish kill in the river. 
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06/15/15 1:55pm
06/15/2015 1:55 PM
Dead fish washed ashore at the Riverhead Yacht Club. (Courtesy photo)

Dead fish washed ashore at the Riverhead Yacht Club. (Courtesy photo)

Word of thousands of dead fish washing up on local shores might seem like old news at this point, but another drop in oxygen levels in local waters, coupled with a migration of bunker up the Peconic River resulted in yet another, separate fish kill over the weekend. (more…)

09/23/14 6:00am
09/23/2014 6:00 AM
Nick Raynor of Riverhead at last year's snapper tournament. (Credit: Rachel Young, file)

Nick Raynor of Riverhead at last year’s snapper tournament. (Credit: Rachel Young, file)

The 17th annual Spanner Tournament along the Peconic River in downtown Riverhead is set for Sept. 27. Hosted by the Riverhead Town Recreation Department, the tournament’s goal is to get get more people into fishing while also raising money for the Riverhead Recreation Department Scholarship Fund.

The tournament is split into two divisions: adults (16&over) and youth (under-16). A rod and reel will be awarded to the first-place winner in each division. And trophies are handed out to the top three finishers in each division.

The first 100 people to register receive a free T-shirt. To pre-register, call 727-5744, ext. 0, visit the website at www.riverheadrecreation.com or go in person to the department at 55 Columbus Ave. in Riverhead.

The tournament begins at 11 a.m. On-site registration starts one hour earlier. The tournament runs until 3 p.m.

Anglers must supply their own rod & reel and bait.

There will also be a Chinese auction for prizes donated by local businesses, which starts at 3:15 p.m.

06/30/14 4:02pm
06/30/2014 4:02 PM

Sunday marked Riverhead’s Fifth Annual Cardboard Boat Race downtown in the Peconic River. And while we were on site to tell the story of one nine-member boat team, and which town supervisor won the annual Riverhead-Southampton matchup, what we weren’t able to do is get 25 to 50 feet up in the sky to take our own photos.

But one photographer, operating a mechanical, 4-winged camera, sure was.

Check out some aerial pictures from the races here, courtesy of Global Aerial Media.

Credit: Global Aerial Media

Credit: Global Aerial Media

Credit: Global Aerial Media

Credit: Global Aerial Media

Credit: Global Aerial Media

Credit: Global Aerial Media

Credit: Global Aerial Media

Credit: Global Aerial Media

10/06/13 8:00am
10/06/2013 8:00 AM

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | East End Rowing has a new home in downtown Riverhead. Riverhead Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio joins (from left) East End Rowing co-founder Co Rentmeester, webmaster Dan Jablonski, vice president George Woodhull and president Bill Hale.

If it weren’t for the 27-foot-long, 11-inch-wide racing scull in the front yard, the brown-shingled house at 30 McDermott Ave. in downtown Riverhead probably wouldn’t get more than a passing glance.

But this property isn’t just any abode — it’s the new home of East End Rowing and, after spending more than a decade on a chunk of land in Flanders without a structure to store their equipment, the group and its 35 members are happy to be there.

“There was no indoor anything in Flanders,” said club member Dan Jablonski, who manages East End Rowing’s website. “It was 12 years without a roof, basically. So when [storms] Irene and Sandy came, all the members went down there and had to make sure the boats were tied down and far enough away from the water.”

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | The building also has workout space for its members, including rowing machines.

Fortunately, that sort of hassle is now a thing of the past. In May, East End Rowing entered into a licensing agreement with Riverhead Town that gives the club rent-free use of the McDermott Avenue house. The five-room house was purchased by the town earlier this year for $160,000 and is now the property of the town sewer district, said that district’s superintendent, Michael Reichel.

Mr. Reichel said the town bought the house with the intention of demolishing it to make way for a new pump station, but he does not anticipate that occurring for at least another two years. In the interim, East End Rowing is responsible for paying all utilities at the house, he said.

“There have been so many different locations proposed for the boathouse,” said Riverhead Councilwoman Jodi Giglio. “Now, with the sewer district getting this property, it just made sense to put it here.”

This isn’t the first time local government has stepped in to assist the club. A few years ago, East End Rowing was awarded a $90,000 grant from Suffolk County. Part of that money was used to put build a new floating dock on the Peconic River.

“It was just in time because the old wooden ones had given up,” club president Bill Hale said.

The new dock was a plus, but East End Rowing, which was founded in 2001 by Co Rentmeester, Michelle Knox Zaloom, Dan Johnson and Alice and Marty Golden, needed a home base. Club members had hoped to build a boathouse in the form of an addition to the East End Arts building on Riverhead’s East Main Street, but that didn’t pan out, Mr. Hale said.

Now that East End Rowing has a house, Ms. Giglio said town officials are also working on an easement that would allow the town to purchase a pre-fabricated boathouse to put in the home’s backyard. In the meantime, East End Rowing members can store their sculls outside and take a hot shower in the home’s second-floor bathroom after rowing the Peconic River. There are also two rowing machines in an upstairs room, where members can train during the winter.

Club members agree the timing was just right to help firmly establish themselves in downtown Riverhead, which is enjoying a revitalization that East End Rowing hopes to be part of.

“Rowing is exploding across the U.S. right now,” said Mr. Hale. “I think people are finding that they can do it all their life, like golf.”

East End Rowing expects to draw a crowd of at least a thousand people when it hosts its annual Snowflake Regatta on the riverfront Nov. 10. Participation at last year’s event was negatively affected by superstorm Sandy, but 2011’s regatta included 108 entries from 14 rowing clubs.

And when rowers are doing their thing on the Peconic River, Mr. Jablonski said, all eyes are on them.

“Everybody’s got a big old motorboat,” he said. “When you’re rowing a 27-foot-long, 11-inch-wide boat, everyone’s watching you.”

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