N.Y. to buy shipyard at Oyster Bay Aim is to preserve town's waterfront


OYSTER BAY, N.Y. - Using funds allocated 25 years ago, the state is providing $5 million to buy a crumbling shipyard that dominates the waterfront of Oyster Bay, a haven that yields 90 percent of the oysters harvested in New York state.

The 5.2-acre site at the southern end of the bay is bordered by beaches and public parkland. Much of the bay has been designated a National Wildlife Refuge and is home to the Pine Island oyster.

The town of Oyster Bay is to contribute $1 million to the purchase.

In a statement announcing the land purchase, Gov. George Pataki said: "This cooperative purchase will recapture an important part of Oyster Bay's waterfront and the area's unique maritime character."

He added: "It will allow for redevelopment that will turn a dilapidated eyesore into a vibrant economic and recreational resource."

The $5 million will come from the state's 1972 Environmental Quality Bond Act. Previously, the money was designated for a solid- waste incinerator on Long Island that was never built, according to a statement from the governor's office.

State Sen. Carl Marcellino of Oyster Bay said he worked closely with the governor and the Senate majority leader, Joseph Bruno, to secure the funds to buy the site, the Jakobson Shipyard, which was listed on the state's open-space plan as a priority acquisition.

The shipyard opened in 1938 and once employed as many as 600 workers who built tugboats. It was removed from the state's hazardous waste site list in 1995 after a voluntary cleanup by the current owner, Moran Towing.

The grant was a long-sought victory for Friends of the Bay, a group dedicated to the preservation and protection of Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbor, estuaries on the north shore of Long Island about 35 miles east of Manhattan.

"We see this property as the centerpiece of a new waterfront," said Michael Deering, executive director of Friends of the Bay.

The Oyster Bay supervisor, Lewis Yevoli, also welcomed the news.

Pub Date: 4/15/97

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