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Green space upgrades, expanded parking among work planned for Halesite Marina

Huntington Town officials plan to pay for the

Huntington Town officials plan to pay for the marina restoration and walkway updates through a grant from the state Local Waterfront Revitilization Program, which will cover 75 percent of the cost. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The Halesite Marina is poised for a face-lift.

Huntington Town officials are planning to spruce up the site through improvements on the marina's half-acre of green space as well as the parking lot, the Suffolk County Transit bus stop by the Halesite firehouse, some nearby transient piers and the town's Huntington Harbor waterfront walkway path.

"We have beautiful waterways here in Huntington. and it's something we want to continue to preserve and make sure it's open and accessible for pedestrian opportunities, and just overall harborfront access," Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said in a recent interview at the marina. "The expanded parking will be great, as it will provide additional waterfront and parkland access and, of course, the new bus shelter will help with public transit."

The marina is part of the Huntington Harbor Walkway, which the town planned in 2007 as a meandering pedestrian path along the waterfront. The walkway's signature red brick will be installed to unify the Halesite marina with the rest of the path.

The town plans to pay for the marina restoration and walkway updates through a grant from the state Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, which will cover 75 percent of the cost, or $975,000.

The town board voted 5-0 in favor of applying for the grant funding at the July 16 board meeting, and the town applied for the grant on July 25.

The rest of the $325,000 funding will come from a few different sources: $265,000 from the town's capital funds, $45,000 from the Huntington Environmental Open Space & Park fund, and approximately $15,000 in in-kind salaries and wages for the personnel working on the project.

The heart of the project and the state grant application is the harborfront walkway, said Eric Singer, an environmental analyst in the town's Department of Planning and Environment.

Connecting the marina park's sidewalks to the walkway will allow the town to "plant . . . native vegetation to help reduce storm water runoff and flooding, filter out toxins and pollutants, provide natural shade and wildlife, offset carbon dioxide emissions and beautify the area," according to the town board resolution.

In 2015, the town board agreed to build an aluminum gangway and three floating wooden docks in Halesite as part of the Huntington Harbor Walkway project.

Not only will the marina park's landscaping be refreshed in the newest phase, but storm water retention will be upgraded as part of the updates.

"We're looking to make some improvements and capture some storm water, add extra parking spaces, plant native vegetation, more park benches," Singer said, "just increase basically the [marina's] capacity and the waterfront access."

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