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Town To Install LEDs On Buoys In Harbors
The Long Islander - February 23, 2017
By Janee Law

The Huntington Town Board has accepted a $2,000 donation from the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht and Boating Clubs intended to make the waters of Huntington and Northport harbors safer for boaters.

The funds were approved Feb. 7 and donated to the town's department of maritime services. They'll be used to purchase of LED solar navigation lights that will be affixed on 13 channel markers in the harbors, according to town officials.

Stephanie Quarles, GHCYBC commodore, said council strives to be "a force to do good for education, boat safety and awareness."

The LED lights are expected to be installed come springtime, Quarles said. Each buoy in both harbors will be equipped with the lights.

"We go around the harbors at night and there's a lot of buoys that are not lit and you have to stand there on your boat with your flashlight and your GPS and make sure you don't hit them," she said. "That's a danger when people come in at night so that's what we decided to fund this year."

Once installed, the lights will automatically turn on at night so that boaters will be able to see them at a distance.

Funds for the LED solar navigation lights were raised during GHCYBC's "Safe Boating Week" in May 2016. Now that the funds have been donated, Quarles said, the town's maritime services department will be in charge of the installation and maintenance of the lights.

"With the price of LED solar lights dropping dramatically, municipalities around the country have been adding them to channel markers to improve navigation and safety, with the support of the Coast Guard," Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone said in an emailed statement. "I thank the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht and Boating Clubs for the donation that makes this project possible and for continuing to work with the Town on measures to improve boating safety."
Huntington Boating Council swears in Officers
NEWSDAY - May 27, 2016
By Valerie Bauman

The new commodores and officers of the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht & Boating Clubs were sworn in Thursday at the Northport Yacht Club.

Stephanie Quarles, of Asharoken, was named commodore of the council. She replaced commodore Jackie Martin, who became the council's executive officer. Northport Village trustee Ian Milligan was sworn in as vice commodore.

The council represents nearly two dozen yacht and boating clubs along Huntington's coast. The commodores help set the agenda and reach out to politicians to advocate for the interests of the council's members, said Jon Ten Haagen, a past commodore.

"Our organization represents over 5,500 boating/voting families," he said. "We can be influential with our elected officials to pay attention to getting the waterfront clean and the harbor safe."

The council has successfully lobbied politicians on water quality and boating safety issues at the local, county and state level - including efforts to clean up the water along Centerport Yacht Club Beach, which was reopened in July 2015 for the first time in five years.

Quarles said she was "very excited" to begin her new role.

She said the council's priorities for the next year will include lobbying lawmakers in Albany to speed up the phase-in of a state requirement for boaters to have safety education. Current state law only requires people born on or after May 1, 1996, to obtain a certificate of completion of boating safety education.

"Right now it's 19-year-olds that are required" to get the certificate, Quarles said Thursday. "The mean average accident rates are happening with 40-year-olds, and it will be over 20 years before they're [people who are 40 now] required to take an education course."

Quarles said the council will also support legislation in Albany that would make it a more serious offense to drink while a boat.

Suffolk County Legis. William Spencer (D-Centerport), swore Quarles, Milligan and other officers in to one-year terms at the ceremony late Thursday. The event concluded the organization's annual Safe Boating Week.
Nautical Market & Fair 2016
The 4th annual GHCYBC Nautical Market and Fair took place at Mill Dam Park and Marina - Sunday, May 22nd, 2016. Click here to view video.
Huntington safe boating fest sets sail with fun, education
NEWSDAY - May 23, 2016
By Valerie Bauman

Highlights:
- Free and cut-rate classes offered for all experience levels
- Annual event coincides with National Safe Boating Week

The Town of Huntington's 4th annual Safe Boating Waterfront Festival kicked off Sunday in Halesite with live music, games for kids and opportunities to learn about safely navigating the waters of Long Island and beyond.
The event at Mill Dam Ball Field is part of a weeklong boating safety event organized by the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht & Boating Clubs in conjunction with the Town of Huntington. Many free and discounted boating safety classes are available to experienced boaters and novices.

Safe Boating Week was originally driven by a July 4, 2012, accident in Oyster Bay that killed three Long Island children when the boat they were on capsized.

"It made people very aware that at any moment a tragic accident can occur on a boat," said Jackie Martin, executive officer of the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht and Boating Clubs. "This was an incident where people were only seeking to have a nice time with their friends . . . it turned into an absolute nightmare and a loss of life for three small children, which devastated their three families."

The annual educational event has grown over the years, with organizers always seeking new ways to teach the public about safe boating.

The organization, with support of Assemb. Andrew Raia (R-Northport) and Chuck Lavine (D-Glen Cove), has drafted legislation that would require people of all ages to complete a boat safety course. Currently, state law only requires those born May 1, 1995, or later (people age 21 or younger) to do so - and that's not good enough, said Stephanie Quarles, who will be officially made commodore of the council on Thursday.

"We want a quicker phase-in, so more people have to be educated," Quarles said Sunday at the festival. The local series of events coincide with National Boating Safety Week. This year, it started Saturday with free vessel safety exams and checks conducted by the Coast Guard Auxillary and the U.S. Power Squadrons.

The week will conclude with Meet the Commodores Night 2016 at the Northport Yacht Club on Thursday.

For more information on free and discounted boating safety classes, visit: huntingtonboatingcouncil.org.
3 new patrol boats headed to Long Island, Gov. Cuomo says
NEWSDAY - May 23, 2016 1:36 PM
By John Valenti

The Suffolk County Marine Bureau, Town of Huntington harbor master and Town of Southampton bay constable will receive three of nine new patrol boats being assigned to state and local law enforcement agencies across New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Monday.

The new vessels, valued up to $150,000 each, are intended to help agencies enforce recreational boater safety, officials said

"From Lake George to the Long Island Sound, New York is home to some of the best recreational boating in the nation," the governor said in a statement, adding: "These new patrol vessels will help keep New York's waterways safe, while improving security for all boat operators and passengers this season."

In addition to the three Long Island agencies, new vessels assigned for 2016 also will go to the state Department of Environmental Conservation police; state park police in the Thousand Islands Region; the Lake George Park Commission; the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department; the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department; and the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department. Called Brunswick "Justice" vessels, the boats range in value from $78,000 to $150,000, officials said Monday.

"These Long Island patrol boats will enhance the safety of Long Island boaters and their families this summer," Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) said in a statement. Calling proper boating safety "critically important," Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) said the patrol boat for Southampton will "assist with the effort" to ensure local boater safety.


The Greater Huntington Council serves as an advocacy group for those who use the surrounding waters of Huntington Bay, Huntington, Centerport and Northport Harbors and serves to represent your concerns to the Huntington town board decision makers.

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Greater Huntington Council of Yacht & Boating Clubs, Inc.
P.O. Box 2124
Halesite, New York 11743
Call us at: 631-421-1809
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