East Hampton Director of Aquaculture John "Barley" Dunne shows off...

East Hampton Director of Aquaculture John "Barley" Dunne shows off fledgling oysters at the town's shellfish nursery. Credit: Newsday/Vera Chinese

East Hampton Town will accept a $400,000 New York State Regional Economic Development Council grant, bringing the town closer to building its new aquaculture facility in Springs.

The town board had been undecided on whether to accept the state money, which was awarded in December and requires a nearly $270,000 match from the town.

The town board voted 5-0 at its meeting Thursday to accept the state money, the largest Regional Economic Development Council grant the town has ever received. The grant will fund facility designs, town officials have said.

East Hampton’s aquaculture department works to replenish the local commercial stock of clams, scallops and oysters.

The town plans to combine its Springs shellfish nursery and Montauk hatchery and create the Gann Road Environmental Education and Nature — or GREEN — Center at the Springs site. The new center is projected to open in 2022.

The project is expected to total $4.5 million, a number that includes the $2.1 million the town spent last year to acquire land for the new facility, according to a town board resolution on the matter.