The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has unveiled a plaque and planted a tree to recognize the family of Carl D. and Helen Reiter, whose contribution in their names made possible the new Hashamomuck Marine Waterway Access Site in Southold, Suffolk County.
The site, opened last June, is DEC’s first and only unrestricted Waterway Access Site on the Peconic Bay and will provide public fishing and recreational boating access to this popular waterbody.
The Hashamomuck Marine Waterway Access Site is a 3.2-acre waterfront property located at 750 Old Main Road, Southold, that now includes a public boat ramp, canoe and kayak launch, an accessible pathway, a boat pump-out station, a washdown station, and a 37-vehicle parking lot for 31 trailers and six cars. All the amenities are universally accessible and available to the public for free.
A commercial fishing family by trade, the Reiters bought the property in 1938 and later purchased a World War II ammunition barge for use as a fish market and restaurant. The Old Barge became a popular seafood restaurant known for its fresh catch and views of the Peconic Bay.
In 2012 the Reiter Family sold its family lands to DEC at a steep discount, a donation of land value that made the State’s purchase possible. The balance of the purchase price and construction were funded with a Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), matched by additional State funding.
The federal Sport Fish Restoration Program was authorized by the Sport Fish Restoration Act of 1950 and is administered by the USFWS. Funding is acquired with revenues from manufacturers’ excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts and pleasure craft and a portion of the gasoline fuel tax attributable to small engines and motorboats. It provides funds to states for fishery, boating access, and aquatic education projects.
DEC has successfully used Sport Fish Restoration funding to develop and maintain its other Long Island Waterway Access Sites (WAS), including Mattituck Inlet WAS, Oyster Ponds WAS (East Marion), Oyster Bay Western Waterfront WAS, and Moriches Bay WAS. However, this is the first time DEC has used Sport Fish Restoration funds to acquire a marine access site.
For more information on saltwater fishing opportunities in New York, visit DEC’s website.
Photo of new plaque honoring the Reiter family courtesy DEC.