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More time on Forge River plan sought

A view of the Forge River in Mastic.

A view of the Forge River in Mastic. (Oct. 29, 2011) Credit: Carl Corry

Members of the Forge River Task Force are asking for 30 more days for public comment on Brookhaven Town’s plan to protect the river.

In a letter sent Monday to Town Supervisor Mark Lesko, six task force members said the traditional 30-day comment period starting Dec. 6 was insufficient because of the holidays.

“We strongly believe that public participation and comments will help to ensure the management plan is a comprehensive, strong roadmap, supported by the community for restoring the river,” the members wrote.

The letter was signed by a group of local civic leaders and environmentalists: Adrienne Esposito, Kevin McAllister, Mary Ann Johnston, John Sicignano and Robert DeBona.

Lesko deferred comment to Councilman Dan Panico, who represents the area of the Forge River. Panico could not be reached Thursday.

“The Forge River is plagued with declining water quality, high nutrient levels, and periods of hypoxia,” the task force members wrote. The 3.5-mile river feeds into Moriches Bay between Mastic and Moriches. The river has been subject to heavy pollution from runoff, cesspools and duck farming operations, environmentalists and regulatory agencies have said.

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