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Officials Reveal ‘Blueway’

Water-ready Massapequans will soon have a new trail to blaze as officials recently unveiled a draft plan for the proposed South Shore Blueway Trail — an 18 mile long kayak trail through the marshes and bays of Long Island’s south shore.

County Executive Ed Mangano was joined Oct. 21 state Department of State Office of Coastal, Local Government and Community Sustainability, South Shore Blueway Trail Committee, Going Coastal, Inc., and Cameron Engineering & Associates plans were revealed for a kayak trail stretching from Atlantic Beach in the west to the Massapequans in the east.

“The South Shore Blueway Trail will shine a light on the precious wetlands of Nassau County and provide kayak access never before seen in this region,” said Mangano. “I am proud to partner with our local environmental organizations and municipalities to create a true jewel for Long Island.”

Mangano said the plan is the result of a collaborative effort process that identified access points and gaps for additional further kayak access. Designed by Going Coastal, Inc. and Cameron Engineering & Associates, LLP the South Shore Blueway Trail will serve as an outline for the development, implementation, maintenance and use of the South Shore Blueway Trail.

Officials envision the water trail as a route for people using small non-motorized, beachable boats like kayaks, canoes, day sailors or rowboats linked by various launches, rest stops and shoreline facilities that support water travel and the variety of natural, cultural and historic resources a boater encounters along the way.

Potential Massapequa launches include John J. Burns Park and Alhambra Road Beach. Officals said there will be seven new access points leading to the shore’s two inlets and four bays, where residents can scout 42 species of bird and 49 species of fish along more than 12 trail routes.

Town of Oyster Bay Supvisor John Venditto said will allow users to travel to designated stops along the way for rest, overnight stays and enjoyment of land and water-based attractions in the vicinity.

“The creation of a recognized water trail system through the waters around the Town Oyster Bay’s shore will increase environmental awareness and an understanding of the region’s natural and cultural resources,” he said. “As well as spur tourism while promoting a healthy, non-polluting, family-friendly form of outdoor recreation.”

The plan for the South Shore Blueway Trail began to take shape when it was included in the 2006 Environmental Bond Act. In November 2008, the Village of Freeport joined with Nassau County to obtain matching funds from a Local Waterfront Revitalization Grant from the New York State Department of State under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund.

The proposed South Shore Blueway Trail Plan, trail map and launch site design concepts are available on the project website, www.southshoreblueway.com. The public is invited to share comments during a community forum on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. at Freeport Village Hall’s conference room. During the 30-day comment period, questions and comments may be submitted to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The South Shore Blueway Trail Committee said it the project will allow deep exploration of Long Island’s natural beauty without disrupting the fragile ecosystem.

The water trail will increase the opportunity to explore and appreciate near-shore and tributary waters in a low-impact manner that protects plants, animals, and ecosystems,” the organization said in a statement. “It is anticipated that a well-developed blueway trail system will become a regional destination for non-motorized boating. Eventually, the blueway will link to a similar non-motorized water trail in Suffolk County.”