December 7, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Promote Aquaculture

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Promote Aquaculture

S.6532A/A.7547A Permits Kelp Cultivation in Underwater Lands at Gardiners and Peconic Bays

Governor Kathy Hochul today signed legislation S.6532A/A.7547A which permits Suffolk County to lease lands under water ceded to it by the state for the purpose of kelp and other seaweed cultivation. This legislation also extends for one year certain provisions regarding commercial fishing licenses.

"Environmental conservation is an issue that is close to my heart and a key priority for my administration," Governor Hochul said. "The cultivation of kelp and other seaweed will help restore the health of ecosystems in these bays, promote the emerging aquaculture market, and support the local economy."

Legislation S.6532A/A.7547A will promote kelp aquaculture in Gardiners and Peconic Bays, helping to restore water quality and fish habitat by reducing nitrogen pollution and strengthening natural ecosystems. This will also bolster the growing seaweed farming industry, providing economic benefits. 110,000 acres of underwater land can be cultivated via this legislation, land that was previously ceded to Suffolk County for the purpose of shellfish cultivation.

Senator Todd Kaminsky said, "Kelp farming represents enormous economic potential and will clean our waters. Thank you to Governor Kathy Hochul and Assemblyman Fred Thiele for their work to see the potential on this groundbreaking issue that will revolutionize our local economy and keep our water clean for the next generation."

Assemblymember Fred Thiele said, "I have pursued the enactment of this legislation for years as studies have highlighted the benefits of kelp in removing nitrogen from our waters. The cultivation of this environmental and economically viable product will promote a growing industry that will help restore water quality and fish habitats on the East End while creating jobs for our traditional maritime businesses. I am excited that New York will now join other states that have already established kelp and commercial seaweed aquaculture programs. I thank Governor Hochul for signing this bill into law."

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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