A dredging project for the Nissequogue River State Park Marina will begin this December allowing for better navigation in the south marina area.
According to Ron Foley, Regional Director of State Parks, the area will have a deeper channel and be will be more usable at high and low tide.
“Boats are touching the bottom at low tide. This will remedy that problem and make a navigable channel whether it is high or low tide."
According to Mike Rosato, Chairman of the Nissequogue River State Park Foundation, the dredging, redesign and upgrading of the marina has been a priority of the parks department for several years.
“This is an extremely important and special part of the park. It’s the only functioning marina in Kings Park providing boat slips and access to the beautiful Nissequogue River,” said Rosato.
Boater Linda Henninger thinks the project is long overdue.
“It is a great idea and about time. It’s great to have boats down at the marina but you need to have water to have boats,” said Henninger.
The dredging is part of an overall redevelopment of the facility.
“There is a modernization of the whole area that is on the drawing board that is not able to be funded yet,” said Foley.
That phase would include adding a boat launch and increasing the amount of spaces for boat trailers.
According to David Flynn of the Smithtown Planning Department, the number of slips will eventually be reduced from 148 to 126 but the spaces for boat trailer parking would go from none to 22.
“The access remains the same at 148 since they are adding a boat launch and spots for trailers,” said Flynn.
According to Foley the dredging project is being funded by money left over from the capital budget. The remainder of the project remains unfunded.
“We are ready to do it anytime the funding becomes available. The funding is part of the whole state budget process,” said Foley.
The dredging is expected to take about three weeks and silt removed will be put in an area south of the marina.
“Navigability is the big gain,” said Foley. “The next phase will be much more dramatic.”