The NYMTA is an association of more than 150 marine businesses on Long Island and in New York City. The organization wants Long Island Boating to be great for their business and for the public. When the consumer is happy, the marine industry is doing its job.
The biggest focus of the organization currently is the issue of maintenance dredging in the waterways in and around the Town of Hempstead, according to NYMTA President Jeff Kalibat.
“The biggest issue is the channels,” Jeff said. “A tremendous problem is getting a place to put the dredge material. And it’s not a lack of will or funding -- it’s a matter of getting permission.”
That emerged as a major point of contention between New York State officials and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency last month, as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced a lawsuit against a decision to designate a permanent open water dredging site in Eastern Long Island Sound.
Recently one dump site -- a 60 foot hole that has been used for years -- had its permit pulled by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Town of Hempstead asked for NYMTA’s assistance with DEC in addressing the problem. “We’re having some active meetings, and hoping that we’re making progress,” Jeff Said.
He also noted it’s an important opportunity to attract more marine business members to NYMTA: “Without more members, it becomes more difficult for us, he said. “It’s frustrating that guys throughout the whole area don’t join the Association.”
Jeff believes a potential way to solve the problem is to get area legislator’s out on a boat at low tide to actually see what’s involved. “Show them what we’re dealing with – there’s no way there is safe travel at night no matter what channel you’re in,” he added.