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Approval expected on Carmans River conservation committee

People canoe on the Carmans River in Brookhaven.

People canoe on the Carmans River in Brookhaven. (Oct. 15, 2013) (Credit: Ed Betz)

The Brookhaven Town board is expected Tuesday to pass a resolution approving the formation of a Carmans River Conservation and Management Plan performance committee.

Democratic Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld Monday said he’s leaning toward voting for the measure, although “I would have liked to see more civic leaders across the Town of Brookhaven on the committee,” he said.

The committee would be charged with helping the town implement the landmark environmental plan, which coalesced after years of often volatile debate. It would meet at least quarterly and issue progress reports to the board.

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The Carmans plan, adopted last month, called for the formation of a performance committee to assess the effectiveness of the plan, town attorney Annette Eaderesto said last week.

The committee would include town planning board members, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Central Pine Barrens Commission, federal agencies and civic groups interested in protecting the river, officials said.

The town board developed the landmark plan to conserve the Carmans River watershed by buying land and imposing tougher zoning along the estuary. The board enacted the sweeping, 200-page blueprint by a 6-0 vote.

Town officials said the 10-mile river — home to more than 100 species of birds and fish — would have been threatened by overdevelopment if the plan had failed. The town board must draft amendments to the town code that reflect the plan’s recommendations.

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