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Trustees Q&A: Feb 27th 2008

Trustee Work Session February 7th 2008

Stormwater Runoff

  • Our Question: Is there a priority list in the Town to remediate runoff sites? How can we we gain access to that? What factors are used to set those priorities?
  • Trustees Answer: A list is available at the Trustees Office. To best understand the process, please go to Town Code Article 236 “Stormwater, Grading and Drainage Control Law”, adopted March 27th 2007.

Navigation Aids in our creeks

  • Our Question: Where do we find out where the charts are that show the location of navigation aids placed in our creek?
  • Trustees Answer: The Town controls aids in the water where they own the bottom. The Coast Guard Controls the rest. (i.e. Mattituck Creek)

SoutholdVOICE Board Director Barbara Christianson, who is a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, provides the following additional information:

To find charts that show the locations of navigation aids placed in our creeks, go to the internet address: www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/12358.shtml

(Clicking here will take you to the site, or you can copy and paste the code into your address bar).

There you will find a chart showing the north end of Long Island. Highlight the area(s) that you are interested in viewing and you will get a detailed copy. It can be downloaded. Also, there is a published listing of all U.S. aids to navigation called the Light List. Massive in size, it is maintained by the U S Coast Guard, and updates every two weeks. Aids are listed by geographic name, with their characteristics including their color.

The placement and maintenance of fixed and floating buoys is part of a complex system that involves all layers of government. The placement of buoys is to show established routes of navigation and to indicate where there may be hazards, speed limits, fishing areas etc. Aids are used to mark traffic channels where it is safe to travel. The United States Coast Guard is responsible for the placement and maintenance of major aids. It is a lateral system that shows the path of the main channels in the waterway system. Local governments and so on, maintain the Private Aids to Navigation (PAtoN) system. They show routes into creeks, rivers, marinas and local harbors.

On entering a channel from seaward, buoys on the starboard side are red with even numbers, on the port side, green with odd numbers. Lighted buoys have red or white lights on the starboard side and white or green lights on the port side. There are buoys that indicate mid-channel, there are junction or obstruction buoys, informational buoys indicating a speed limit or danger or a swim area, etc. All are maintained by either the Coast Guard or the “owner’ of the buoy.

In our local area, the East End towns of East Hampton, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Southampton and Southold are individually responsible for the placement and maintenance of aids to navigation in the waters they “own”. The aids are pulled out of the water every Fall, and should be maintained over the winter (scraping, painting, applying reflection tape, replacing lights, numbering, etc), then they are replaced in the water during the following Spring.

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