Governor Hochul Vetoes Bill to Permit the Leasing of State-Owned Underwater Lands for Seaweed Cultivation

On Wednesday, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (D-Sag Harbor) issued the following statement after Governor Hochul vetoed a bill he authored with Senator Kaminsky to promote the leasing of certain state-owned underwater lands for seaweed cultivation.

Assemblyman Thiele said, “Legislation that authorizes leases for seaweed farming, including kelp, in Gardiners and Peconic Bays was signed into law in 2021. To further promote a growing industry that can help restore water quality and fish habitats on Long Island’s East End and in the rest of New York, I introduced a bill to authorize the Department of Environmental Conservation to lease additional state-owned underwa­ter lands for the purpose of seaweed cultivation, a valuable and eco-friendly product that requires little environmental disruption. As New York continues to fight climate change and nitrogen pollution, this bill would have allowed more kelp farmers and local enterprises to participate in a growing industry that can provide substantial environmental benefits for the state. The Governor’s decision to veto this legislation is a missed opportunity to boost our economy and create new jobs for our maritime businesses.”