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Huntington Town gets $76G state grant for blueway trail plan

Members of a senior group of kayakers out

Members of a senior group of kayakers out of Centerport Beach Tuesday Aug 2, 2016. The kayakers will benefit from a planed trail system known as a blueway proposed by Huntington Town officials which would run along the town's shoreline, offering access where small boaters could dock and explore local historic and cultural points of interest. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Huntington Town is to receive a $76,000 state grant to create its own educational, water-based trail system — a blueway — that would extend the length of the town’s full 61 miles of shoreline, Councilman Mark Cuthbertson said Wednesday.

“Our waterways are such an underutilized asset,” said Cuthbertson, who sponsored the resolution to pursue funding for the project. “Getting the state funding will really jump start . . . a new venture for us.”

Funding for the Huntington Blueway trail came from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, which requires a 50 percent local funding match.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County is partnering with the town on the project, and will cover Huntington’s share of the local match costs. The cooperative will also provide technical expertise to manage the project, field research, education and marine habitat restoration.

Huntington officials announced plans in August to pursue the coastal project, which will offer new access for small boats to dock and explore local historic and cultural points of interest.

The trail will stretch from the head of Cold Spring Harbor through the Huntington-Northport Bay complex, ending at the mouth of Fresh Pond in Smithtown Bay.

The project includes plans for the creation of a town map of the trail, as well as natural and cultural heritage points of interest along the way. Officials have said they eventually want to develop a mobile application that will help guide users though the town’s blueway.

The funding will also help the town develop a long-term blueprint for preserving the coastline and developing it responsibly, officials said.

Huntington leaders have said they would like to coordinate with Oyster Bay to connect the new blueway to the existing Theodore Roosevelt Blueway west of Huntington.

The three-year Huntington project does not yet have a start date.

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