Back Eelgrass Restoration

       The East Hampton Town Trustees commenced their first meeting of 2014 on Tuesday night with a swearing-in ceremony and the introduction of the board’s two new members.

       Carole Brennan, the town clerk, presided over the swearing in of the board, which now includes Brian Byrnes and Bill Taylor. John Courtney, the trustees’ attorney, then led a call for nominations for clerk and assistant clerk. The board nominated and unanimously voted for Diane McNally and Stephanie Forsberg to remain in their respective roles.

       Kimberly Barbour, a habitat restoration outreach specialist with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program in Southold, proposed a marine meadows program in which her group would collaborate with the trustees. The community-based eelgrass restoration program founded in 2011 would take advantage of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Grant.

       Eelgrass shoots prepared by Marine Meadows volunteers over the past two years, and now supplemented by dune and marsh grass, would be planted in areas needing revegetation. Ms. Barbour told the trustees that she is going to all East End towns in search of such sites. “We could supply our own stock and hopefully help out communities,” she said.

       Ms. Barbour asked the trustees for a letter supporting the program. “We would hope that it would be a joint project,” she said, “that some of you would be out helping us or recruiting local groups.”

       Deborah Klughers, a trustee, said that she would like to see the town’s scallop sanctuaries, in Three Mile Harbor and Napeague Harbor, replanted with eelgrass. She and her colleagues also discussed revegetation efforts at Gerard Drive and Louse Point in Springs, and at Lazy Point.

       The trustees voted unanimously to write a letter in support of the program.

       Debate of the board’s annual resolutions, some of which set fees for mooring and other use of waters and bottomlands under trustees’ jurisdiction, dominated the meeting, as did a continuation of the discussion at Friday’s East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on the Maidstone Club’s proposed irrigation expansion project.

       Ms. Klughers and Timothy Bock had addressed that board on behalf of the trustees to voice their concerns about the project’s potential impact on Hook Pond. (A separate article on that hearing appears elsewhere in this issue.) The board decided to submit its concerns in writing to the Z.B.A. during the 10-day period for public comment, which ends on Monday.