'Wall' of concrete removed from Oakdale creek
The "wall" of bags was taken out of water adjacent to property owned by Anthony Segreto, 69, of Blue Point Road.
If not removed by DEC, "it was likely that the wall would have remained in the creek for the foreseeable future," agency spokeswoman Lisa King said in a statement. If left in place, the concrete could reduce habitat for vegetation, shellfish and invertebrates and make the area more stagnant, increasing the chances of mosquito breeding, officials have said.
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Segreto, DEC and Islip Town officials have been embroiled in lawsuits since 2007 over ownership of the property and wetlands regulations.
DEC officials said Segreto built on and filled wetland areas without permits. Earlier this month, the attorney general's office won a restraining order in state supreme court barring him from construction activity.
Segreto maintains that the wetland area of his property is man-made and that allowing it to expand or flood amounts to unlawful taking of property.
Early Wednesday he unsuccessfully attempted to get a restraining order in federal court prohibiting removal of the concrete, which he said he did not place on the property.
The DEC "should not be on my property," Segreto said Wednesday. "They are taking actions to make a waterway on my land, which is not a waterway. It's my land."
Islip Town Attorney Robert Cicale said, "The town's position is he doesn't have a viable case."