DuWayne Gregory, Presiding Officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, announced that the first meeting of the Suffolk County Marine Industry Revitalization Advisory Council (MIRAC) for 2019 was held, and the committee has now scheduled two public hearings dates.
MIRAC was created in 2018 through legislation sponsored by Gregory along with co-sponsors Legislators Sarah Anker, Al Krupski and William Lindsay III. The mission of the council is to “bring industry, education, and government leaders together to help protect, promote and grow Suffolk County’s ocean economy.”
The hearings will be held “To hear concerns and ideas about investing in and protecting Suffolk’s $1.5-billion marine industry. The group is seeking input from marine industry stakeholders such as marina owners and operators, commercial fishermen and baymen, recreational fishermen, and residents of areas in need of dredging,” according to Gregory, and will take place on February 6 at the William H. Rogers Legislature Building on Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge, and on February 7 at the Evans K. Griffing Building, 300 Center Drive in Riverhead, respectively. Both hearings will begin at 5:00 p.m. and plan to conclude at 7:00 p.m.
Gregory stated, “The Legislation creating the Council, which I sponsored and which was adopted last year, is intended to establish a relationship that will allow government and private industry to work with local communities to attract good paying jobs to the region and encourage the growth of the marine sector of the local economy. With 980 miles of shoreline and more than 300 bodies of water in Suffolk County, the Marine Industry Revitalization Advisory Council has been taking a comprehensive look at the best way to nurture Long Island’s diverse marine industry.”
Elaborating, “The $1.579 billion economic impact of the marine industry, the 7,000 plus people in marine-related jobs, and our marine workforce development are essential to Suffolk County becoming an attractive location for new business. Our investment in recreational boating and fishing, which are at the heart of regional tourism, must continue to play a major role if we are to maintain our place as a tourist and vacation destination,” said Gregory.
Continuing, “Improving market conditions and opportunities in Suffolk County are key components of a healthy economy and I am excited about the work of our Marine Industry Revitalization Advisory Council and the future of our great County. These upcoming public hearings are an opportunity for the public to help shape policy that will create the next generation of marine workers, support much-needed dredging projects, protect fisheries from deadly algal blooms, and ensure that Suffolk County beaches remain a popular destination for years to come,” offered Gregory.
For more information, call 631-853-4088.