The state DEC is building a headquarters at Nissequogue River...

The state DEC is building a headquarters at Nissequogue River State Park, seen on Wednesday. Credit: Barry Sloan

Lawyers for a Nissequogue River State Park not-for-profit and the New York State agencies suing to stop work already underwayon a state building are scheduled to make arguments next month before a state Supreme Court judge in Riverhead.

Nissequogue River State Park Foundation and chairman John McQuaid sued New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation late last year to stop the planned construction of a 30,000-square-foot DEC headquarters near the park waterfront.

The headquarters could “create significant adverse effects on natural, historic and aesthetic resources, and will significantly alter existing use and traffic patterns within the Park to the detriment of its current uses for walking, hiking, bird-watching,” according to the suit.

McQuaid has said his group, which will take the case before the judge on March 12, would support construction elsewhere in the park. 

DEC officials have said it would give needed waterfront access to researchers and enforcement officials from the agency’s Division of Marine Resources. Local elected officials, and union and civic leaders argued the project would support jobs and economic development in Kings Park at a December rally publicized by the town. 

A DEC spokeswoman confirmed in an email last week that work had begun at “this important new facility.” McQuaid, who filed a Feb. 21 affidavit asking Judge Sanford Berland to suspend construction, said in an interview Tuesday that workers have removed trees and appeared to be digging a foundation at the site. 

“The fact that they’re moving ahead with construction is baffling,” he said.

The construction site near St. Johnland Road and Kings Park...

The construction site near St. Johnland Road and Kings Park Boulevard in Kings Park is seen on Wednesday. Credit: Barry Sloan

The state attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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