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Freeport wins $25,000 grant for water tourism summit

Freeport Village was awarded a $25,000 state grant to host a New York State Water Trail and Tourism Summit in the spring of 2018.

The one-day event — which has not yet been scheduled — aims to promote the state’s eco-tourism and foster water-based trail development, according to a village spokesman. Freeport is a stop along the South Shore Blueway Trail, which runs from Bay Park in East Rockaway to Tobay Beach in the Town of Oyster Bay.

Organizers believe the summit — billed as the first of its kind — will bring together paddling enthusiasts and the tourism industry. They hope it will attract state officials and small businesses to support and further the interests of New York’s water trails.

Freeport’s eco-tourism already includes the “Great Freeport Canoe Race,” held every summer at Cow Meadow Park for nearly 40 years, the spokesman said. The state has more than 20 water trails that currently exist or are under development.

The grant was awarded through the New York Department of State’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.

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