An Old Law and Even Older Patent Resolve Modern Clamming Disputes

July 27, 2022

The Long Island Sound is one of the gems of New York State, recognized for its beauty, for its peacefulness, and, especially farther out on Long Island’s North Fork, for its connection to the Atlantic Ocean. The Sound is used for recreation by boaters, swimmers, and others who are drawn to its beaches and vistas. It also is used for a wide range of commercial activities. And, in that regard, the Sound—alone or in conjunction with the various bays, coves, harbors, and inlets that border the coast of Long Island’s North Shore—often becomes the subject of litigation.

Consider, for example, a case pending as of the time of this writing in Supreme Court, Nassau County, that was brought by the Town of Oyster Bay against the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Frank M. Flower & Sons, Inc. (FMF). Town of Oyster Bay v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, No. 606781/22 (Sup. Ct. Nassau Co.). Here, the town challenged FMF’s right to dredge clams under a DEC permit from uncertified waters in Mill Neck Creek, an estuary on the North Shore of Long Island that feeds into Oyster Bay Harbor, which is a tributary of the Long Island Sound, and to transplant them to any of four certified relay (cleansing) areas located in Oyster Bay Harbor.

Reprinted with permission from New York Law Journal, Wednesday, July 27, 2022, Vol 268 – No. 18.

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