Featured Story
07/25/18 6:00am
07/25/2018 6:00 AM

The Department of Environmental Conservation will seek public input as it seeks to reform the current commercial fishing licensing system, state lawmakers announced Monday.

In a news release, Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) and State Sen. Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) announced a series of meetings across Long Island starting Monday, July 30. READ

09/20/14 2:21pm
09/20/2014 2:21 PM
Congressman Tim Bishop cuts the ribbon at Widow's Hole Oysters on Saturday morning. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Congressman Tim Bishop cuts the ribbon at Widow’s Hole Oysters on Saturday morning. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

It was a fitting day for a commercial dock to open up in Greenport, albeit a rare occasion these days.

Widow’s Hole Oysters cut the ribbon at its new 140-foot dock on Saturday morning on the opening morning of the village’s annual Maritime Festival, celebrating the company’s expansion after the project was delayed due to opposition from neighbors and a clerical error by the village.

Mike and Isabel Osinski had proposed the new dock as well as expanding part of their operation in a creek on the west side of their property that abuts Fourth Street homes. The company owners ultimately scaled back the expansion to please neighbors who voiced opposition to the plan. However, plans to build the dock heading into Greenport Harbor, on the east side, were stalled after the Greenport Village board said a clerical error required a second public hearing on the plan.

Eventually, the Osinskis filed suit against the village over an “arbitrary and capricious” amendment it made when issuing the company’s tidal wetlands permit. Last month, a state Supreme Court judge ruled in the company’s favor.

Mr. Osinski had some choice words for those who opposed the expansion, as well as the village, though summed it up on Saturday morning by saying, ”It was an ordeal.”

While the celebration for Widow’s Hole fit in with the theme of the day in Greenport, dockbuilder John Costello of Costello Marine said opening a new commercial dock isn’t something that happens too frequently anymore in the village, which originally grew due to its commercial fishing success in the mid-1800s.

In fact, Mr. Costello — who’s been building docks for 51 years — couldn’t recall the last time he built a working commercial dock in Greenport, noting that most of his work in the village comes through repairs.

“We’ve seen them disappear as more condos took the prime real estate,” he said.

The dock was completed on Thursday and took about five weeks from start to finish.

As supporters of Widow’s Hole hoisted a “Working Waterfront Greenport” sign, Congressman Tim Bishop was on hand to cut the ribbon at the new dock after helping Widow’s Hole secure permits from the Army Corps of Engineers needed to get the expansion up and running.

Mr. Osinski said that in addition to growing in Greenport Harbor, Widow’s Hole is now leasing 10 acres near Gardiner’s Island from Suffolk County, and the added dock space and stronger winches will permit the company to keep up with growing demand for local oysters in New York City.

“I’d like to grow the oysters to three years old, but the demand is too much. Everybody wants them,” he said.

Widow's Hole Oysters' new dock opened up this past week in Greenport. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Widow’s Hole Oysters’ new dock opened up this past week in Greenport. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

09/05/14 8:00am
09/05/2014 8:00 AM
Sid Smith, who captains The Merit fishing boat out of Greenport, believes he's being punished by village officials for being outspoken over issues concerning the village. He was told to vacate the railroad dock earlier this year for not having enough insurance. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Sid Smith, who captains The Merit fishing boat out of Greenport, believes he’s being punished by village officials for being outspoken over issues concerning the village. He was told to vacate the railroad dock earlier this year for not having enough insurance. (Credit: Paul Squire)

At a recent Greenport code committee meeting, village officials floated the idea of increasing marine insurance requirements for commercial boat owners who keep vessels at the railroad dock.

But committee members — including Mayor David Nyce and village attorney Joseph Prokop — balked at the proposal, which would raise the minimum required coverage from $1 million to $2 million.  (more…)

04/27/14 7:00am
04/27/2014 7:00 AM
Katharine Schroeder File Photo

Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file

It’s Thursday morning and I like to go to the Sterlington and have coffee and read the paper. There are several articles on the fishing village of Greenport.

I am a commercial fisherman, and to be honest, it raises my blood pressure and turns my stomach that Greenport claims the fame as a fishing port. Unfortunately, it seems the village is more interested in being called a fishing village than actually being one. (more…)

04/27/12 4:00pm
04/27/2012 4:00 PM

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has temporarily closed Sag Harbor Cove due to biotoxins.

The presence of marine biotoxins may result in making shellfish hazardous to eat. Within the past few weeks the DEC also closed Mattituck Inlet and Creek and 2,900 acres in the Peconic Estuary’s westernmost reaches straddling Riverhead and Southampton Towns to shellfishing due to the presence of a biotoxin, a naturally occurring substance.

The Sag Harbor alert wasn’t widely released, but was sent to some private individuals with ties to the fishing industry.

The affected area includes the cove and its tributaries lying west of the northbound lanes of the Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter Veterans Memorial Bridge, which connects Sag Harbor to North Haven.

The ban on shellfishing will continue until the DEC can determine that marine biotoxin levels are no longer hazardous, according to a DEC statement.

Greenport Village Trustee Mary Bess Phillips raised the question of the possible impact the closing might have on proposed water taxi service between Sag Harbor and Greenport.

“The proposed water taxi between Sag Harbor and Greenport is a problem with this biotoxin,” she said. “With the amount of aquaculture that is in our Peconic Estuary system, we have issues.”

She called for discussion about whether the proposed water taxi service might “damage a segment of the commercial fishing industry,” although current sites being discussed docking the water taxi are outside the cove area.

Ms. Phillips and her husband, Capt. Mark Phillips, operate a fishing fleet out of Greenport and the retail Alice’s Fish Market in the village.

Bill Faulk, an aide to county Legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches), said his office has asked the DEC to provide a plan of action.

“We’re concerned about this affecting the Peconic Bay region,” Mr. Faulk said.

Mr. Romaine and Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk) weren’t immediately available for comment.

[email protected]