Gurney's Inn
May 03, 2006

Town Awarded Fish Migration Grant

Riverhead's efforts to protect sea life in the Peconic River were recently rewarded. Town Supervisor Phil Cardinale announced last week that Riverhead had been awarded a $25,000 American Rivers/NOAA Community-Based Habitat Restoration Program Partnership grant. The money will be used in ongoing efforts aimed at restoring fish migration on the Peconic River.

"This award brings to $388,000 the amount of grant funds which the Town of Riverhead Community Development Department, with vital technical support from the Peconic Estuary Program, has procured in furtherance of the mission to reopen habitat for the American eel and alewife in the Peconic River," said Cardinale. 

The efforts, he explained, are crucial due to severe coast-wide declines of those species, specifically American eels, which are under consideration for listing on the United States Endangered Species List.

PEP Program Manager, Vito Minei was thrilled with the grant. He said, "The Town of Riverhead is to be commended for its leadership in restoring historic fish migratory routes on the Peconic River." 

The Peconic River Fish Restoration Commission has sponsored a fish ladder installed in the north spillway in Grangebel Park every spring since 2000.

Viewed as a temporary solution, the group approached the Riverhead through Councilman George Bartunek to assist with the procurement and administration of grant funding for expanded fish migration activities.

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