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Jul 1, 2014 4:33 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Workers Clear A Channel In Hampton Bays Creek

Jul 1, 2014 4:33 PM

It took less than 10 days for workers to dredge a shallow creek in Hampton Bays that one marina worker says has needed such attention for at least the past decade.

William Stubelek Jr., manager of Ponquogue Marine Basin, which overlooks Fosters Creek in Hampton Bays, said this week that he has been trying since 2004 to get Southampton Town to put the waterway on the priority list for future Suffolk County dredging projects.

This year, he enlisted the help of U.S. Representative Tim Bishop, who assisted with the necessary permits and helped advance the project on the Suffolk County Department of Public Works’ to-do list.

County workers arrived last month and spent just over a week removing an estimated 9,400 cubic yards of sand from the creek, which had become so shallow that certain boats could only enter and exit the marina at high tide. The creek provides access to nearby Shinnecock Bay.

The project cost $30,000 to complete, according to Mr. Bishop’s office.

“The project was a complete success and was also finished a week ahead of schedule,” Mr. Stubelek stated in a release issued by Mr. Bishop’s office. “Everyone involved in this project, public and private, worked extremely hard to make this project a success.”

Each year, the budget for the Suffolk County Department of Public Works includes a line for dredging, and municipalities submit lists of potential dredge projects, in priority order. Krystyna Baumgartner, a spokeswoman for Mr. Bishop, noted that Mr. Stubelek had been trying, unsuccessfully, for the past decade to get Fosters Creek onto the town’s priority list. It was finally included on the list this year, she said.

Jean Stubelek, dock manager at the Ponquogue Marine Basin, and Mr. Stubelek’s mother, noted that the mouth of the creek began to close shortly after Hurricane Irene hit in 2011, and its navigability only worsened following Hurricane Sandy in 2012. “It became non-navigable,” she said. “We lost customers because of it.”

Ms. Stubelek also noted that four other marinas also call the creek home, not to mention the local motels and restaurants that also lost business because larger boats could not make their way up and down the creek.

According to Ms. Baumgartner, the congressman, who visited the site last week, worked with the marina owners, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Environmental Conservation and Southampton Town to help speed up the permit process for the dredging.

“This is an example of what can be accomplished when various levels of government are willing to work together toward our common goal,” Mr. Bishop said in a prepared statement.

As for Ms. Stubelek, she said she is pleased that the work took little more than a week to complete.

“Now that the water is deeper, we can dock larger commercial boats again,” she said.

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Well done Mr. Bishop.
By tenn tom (236), remsenburg on Jul 2, 14 8:24 AM
8k run & 3 mile walk, Agawam Park, Southampton Rotary Club fundraiser