DEC probes possible destruction of Port Washington wetlands

Environmentalists say precious wetlands in Port Washington are being wiped out in order to build a parking lot, but local officials deny that's the case.

PORT WASHINGTON - Environmentalists say precious wetlands in Port Washington are being wiped out in order to build a parking lot, but local officials deny that's the case. Michael Vitti, a member of the State Trails Council, says the Town of North Hempstead has been draining water and filling in the wetlands in a spot near the town yard. He took photos of a pump at the spot and says fill material, including asphalt and concrete, have been dumped there. A town spokesman denies there's any plans for a parking lot. He says the town has instead been trying to fix a flooding and pothole problem on nearby West Shore Road. The state's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) says the area is a regulated fresh water wetland, and any work there would require a permit. The agency says it's investigating.

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