Boaters want Suffolk to dredge Porpoise Channel

Boaters say the county needs to dredge the channel at the entrance of Smithtown Bay and Stony Brook Harbor.

Boaters say the county needs to dredge the channel at the entrance of Smithtown Bay and Stony Brook Harbor. (7/8/16)

ST. JAMES - Boaters want Suffolk County to dredge Porpoise Channel to make recreational boating safer on the North Shore.

Local yacht clubs plus the towns of Brookhaven and Smithtown have asked Suffolk County to dredge the channel, which connects Stony Brook Harbor to Smithtown Bay and the Long Island Sound.

At low tide, they say the channel has less than a foot of water and is impassable for boats. News 12 is told there have been several incidents of inexperienced boaters getting stuck in the channel at low tide.

“It is a boating hazard, it is a public safety hazard and it needs to be put on the priority list for dredging this fall,” says Kevin Rooney, of the Smithtown Yacht Club. “We are requesting that the county executive and the commissioner of DPW give this dredging the highest priority this fall before something terrible happens.”

Supporters of the dredging project say the channel hasn’t been dredged by the county in about 30 years. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s office says they are aware of the situation but discussions on a solution haven’t started just yet.

Boaters hope the county will make a decision in the next month or so.

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