New York State unveiled its Regional Economic Development Grant awards for 2018 on Tuesday, which include a bevy of East End projects, with grants totaling tens of millions of dollars. Below are some highlights:

Riverside Maritime Trail Park

Just as design consultants for Southampton Town unveiled their completed concept plan for the Riverside Maritime Trail Park, New York State has come through with $387,484 in funding toward the project, a 14-acre park that is central to the town’s planned revitalization of the blighted area just south of downtown Riverhead.

The grant will be used for the construction of approximately 2,400
linear feet of walking paths and boardwalks as well as removal of invasive species.

The parkland is owned by Suffolk County but will be managed and maintained by Southampton Town. The Flanders, Riverside & Northampton Community Association also recently received the second of two $50,000 state Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Justice grants to help with planning the park.

Landscape architect Steve Nieroda of consultants Araiys Design recommended to the Southampton Town Board at its Dec. 13 work session that work be done in two phases. The first phase would include trail-building and clearing of invasive species and parking areas, as well as building two of three observation platforms overlooking the Peconic River. That phase is estimated to cost about $1.5 million.

The second phase would cost just over $1 million, and would include the construction of exercise areas, children’s gardens and amphitheaters for performances. Mr. Nieroda estimated a comfort station at the site would cost about $300,000, but the design would vary depending on whether the site has access to a sewer system in the future.

Children’s Museum of The East End Riverside Satellite

The state has also awarded the Children’s Museum of the East End three separate grants, two of which are for a proposed satellite location at Ludlam Avenue Park in Riverside.

CMEE has been holding packed programs for Riverside children in the tiny Peconic Avenue headquarters of Riverside Rediscovered for several years.

Two grants of $302,400 and $150,000 would be put toward building a 4,000-square-foot building to house educational programs and exhibits at Ludlam Park.

Another $75,000 grant will allow CMEE to create a fellowship program that will train artists as arts educators to enable them to deliver arts education in their communities.

A Sewer for Westhampton Beach

Five million dollars in grant funding has been allocated to “construct
sanitary collection and conveyance infrastructure within the Main Street business district of the village and connect the infrastructure to the wastewater treatment facility at the Suffolk County Sewer District
No. 24-Gabreski Airport.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed legislation this past March to authorize an agreement with the Village of Westhampton Beach to connect its business district and two condominium complexes to the Gabreski Airport plant.

Bridgehampton Child Care Center Expansion

The Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center received $300,000
to construct a new building to increase child care service capacity to lower income working families in the Bridgehampton community.

Riverhead Railroad Hub

The Town of Riverhead received $25,000 to develop a plan to for a transit oriented development near the Riverhead Long Island Rail Road station.

Peconic Land Trust Water Protection Program

The Peconic Land Trust received $3 million to begin Phase II of their source water protection program, which acquires land within regional Special Groundwater Protection Areas and/or in close proximity to public water supply wellheads. Phase II of this program has prioritized land acquisition in the Towns of Riverhead, Southold, and Shelter Island to protect land within the Peconic Estuary and Long Island Sound Watersheds.

East Hampton Shellfish Hatchery

East Hampton Town received $400,000 to consolidate its municipal hatchery and nursery facilities to one site adjacent to their existing nursery system in East Hampton.

East End Arts

East End Arts received a $60,000 grant to hire a full time Development Director to design and implement the annual fundraising strategies that support the work of the organization

Tourism in All Seasons

Winship Media and the Long Island Wine Council received $150,000 to create a new series of educational tourism activities “that will drive new direct sales opportunities for Long Island wineries and help reinforce the state’s efforts to promote its craft beverage industry by increasing the number of well-informed, local product advocates throughout the New York City metro area.”

The East End Tourism Alliance also received just over $140,000 to “will common promotional themes for the East End of Long Island, defined and scheduled seasonally, to have a stronger and more consistent regional branding impact on potential visitors. The program will will emphasize
promotional themes that work particularly well in the shoulder seasons and outside of peak tourism periods.

Crescent Beach Comfort Station

The Town of Shelter Island received $113,370 to replace the decayed
restroom facility at Crescent Beach with a modern, ADA-compliant comfort station featuring advanced wastewater treatment and other environmentally sensitive design features, designed to advance regional goals for improving water quality in the Peconic Estuary

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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