Oyster Bay shellfishing firm has proper permits, agency finds – New York News

A company that holds a lease to harvest shellfish in more than 1,800 acres of Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbor has all required federal permits, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently determined after representatives of independent harvesters filed complaints alleging violations of federal law.

The determination is the latest chapter in a decades-long battle between independent harvesters and Frank M. Flower & Sons, which has a 30-year lease with the Town of Oyster Bay through 2024.

The baymen have accused Flower of destroying the bay bottom and harming marine life with its mechanical dredging. Flower denies the charge and says it is in the company’s interest to keep the bay healthy. Most Flower operations occur within the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

The Army Corps investigated complaints from several baymen and determined that Flower is in full compliance with what the Corps calls a “nationwide permit” for shellfish harvesting, agency spokesman Hector Mosley said.

Flower attorney James Cammarata said the company is “properly permitted and we’re properly authorized to do what we do. And everything we do is safe and does not disturb the environment.”

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