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A09938 Summary:

Amd §13-0301, En Con L
Permits the leasing of state-owned underwater lands for seaweed cultivation.
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A09938 Actions:

04/19/2022referred to environmental conservation
05/09/2022reported referred to ways and means
05/11/2022reported referred to rules
05/17/2022rules report cal.250
05/17/2022ordered to third reading rules cal.250
05/17/2022passed assembly
05/17/2022delivered to senate
05/25/2022SUBSTITUTED FOR S9181
05/25/20223RD READING CAL.1468
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A09938 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to permitting the leasing of state-owned underwater lands for seaweed cultivation   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to promote the leasing of certain state- owned underwater lands for seaweed cultivation in parity with shellfish cultivation.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1. Provides that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) may lease certain state-owned underwater lands within the marine and coastal districts for the cultivation of seaweed. The lease of lands withing 500 feet of the highwater mark would require the approval of the Office of General Services. Certain specified lands, including lands in Gardiner's and Peconic Bays in Suffolk County, cannot be leased by the DEC for seaweed cultivation. The DEC would be authorized to adopt regu- lations relating to administrative matters as leasing forms and proce- dures, rental fees, harvesting gear, and renewal and assignment of leas- es. Regulations adopted by the DEC for the implementation and administration of this section must include measures to award leases to the highest responsible bidder after public auction following due notice, require that bidders provide a detailed cultivation plan, and require that the cultivation of seaweed commence within one year of the award of the lease. Section 2. Severability clause. The provisions of this act are severable if any portion is found to be invalid. The remainder of this act shall not be affected. Section 3. Effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Seaweed is an aquatic plant native to New York State's waters and plays an essential role in the overall well-being of our underwater ecosys- tems. It has been found that seaweed is highly effective at minimizing nitrogen pollution, improving water oxygenation, and serving as a natural habitat for fish and shellfish. In addition to its environmental benefits, seaweed growth also provides many economic benefits for New York that incentivizes state investment and support. When harvested and processed commercially, seaweed can be utilized in various products, including food items, fertilizers, cosmetics, and packaging. Seaweed cultivation has a minimal environmental impact for the reasons previously stated and requires little fertilization or envi- ronmental disruption, making it a valuable and eco-friendly product that is rapidly growing in demand. Under current law, New York State does not allow the leasing of state land for the purpose of seaweed cultivation. This bill would expand the DEC's authority to lease certain state-owned underwater lands for the purpose of shellfish cultivation to include seaweed cultivation. This will help to further promote seaweed aquaculture in areas of interest and allow enterprises to participate in this growing and highly benefi- cial industry.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately
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A09938 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     April 19, 2022
        Introduced by M. of A. THIELE -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Environmental Conservation
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  environmental  conservation law, in relation to
          permitting the leasing of state-owned  underwater  lands  for  seaweed
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. Section 13-0301 of the environmental conservation  law,  as
     2  added by chapter 317 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows:
     3  § 13-0301. Lease  of state-owned underwater lands for shellfish or seaw-
     4               eed cultivation.
     5    1. Leases. a. Except as provided in paragraph b of  this  subdivision,
     6  the  department may lease state-owned underwater lands within the marine
     7  and coastal district for the cultivation of shellfish or seaweed.    The
     8  written approval of the office of general services shall be obtained for
     9  the lease of land within five hundred feet of the high water mark.
    10    b. The following lands underwater shall not be leased: (i) lands where
    11  there  is  an indicated presence of shellfish in sufficient quantity and
    12  quality and so located as to support significant hand raking or  tonging
    13  harvesting;  (ii)  lands  where the leasing will result in a significant
    14  reduction to established commercial  finfish  or  crustacean  fisheries;
    15  (iii)  lands  where  bay scallops are produced regularly on a commercial
    16  basis; and (iv) lands underwater of Gardiner's and Peconic bays and  the
    17  tributaries  thereof between the westerly shore of Great Peconic bay and
    18  an easterly line running from the most easterly point of Plum Island  to
    19  Goff point at the entrance of Napeaque harbor.
    20    2.  Regulations.  a.  Regulations  adopted  by  the department for the
    21  implementation and administration of this section  shall  include  regu-
    22  lations  with  respect to leasing forms and procedures; public notice of
    23  leasing; execution of leases; minimum rental fees;  bidding  procedures;
    24  posting  and forfeiture of financial security, renewals, termination and
    25  assignment of leases; marking and testing  of  grounds;  maintenance  of
    26  boundary  markers;  collection  of rental and recording fees; submission
    27  and approval of cultivation plans; harvesting gear; acreage of lands  to
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 9938                             2
     1  be let and term of leases and other matters pertinent to underwater land
     2  use and shellfish or seaweed cultivation.
     3    b.  Regulations  adopted  by the department for the implementation and
     4  administration of this section shall include the following requirements:
     5  (i) leases shall be awarded after public auction following  due  notice;
     6  (ii)  leases  shall  be awarded to the highest responsible bidder; (iii)
     7  bidders shall provide a detailed cultivation plan; and (iv)  cultivation
     8  of  shellfish  or seaweed shall commence within one year of the award of
     9  the lease.
    10    3. Summary proceedings. Upon failure to pay the rental on any date due
    11  under the terms of the lease or upon  revocation,  the  department  may,
    12  after  written  notice  to the lessee, declare the lease cancelled as of
    13  the date set forth in such notice, and may immediately thereafter  evict
    14  the  lessee from such lands. The provisions of article seven of the real
    15  property actions and proceedings law shall apply and govern  the  proce-
    16  dure in such cases.
    17    4.  Limitations.  The commissioner of general services shall not grant
    18  or lease lands for shellfish or seaweed cultivation.  The  public  shall
    19  not  be excluded from the taking of shellfish or seaweed from underwater
    20  lands granted  or  leased  by  such  commissioner  for  other  purposes;
    21  provided,  however,  that should any grant or lease made by such commis-
    22  sioner for such other purposes include lands leased  by  the  department
    23  for shellfish or seaweed cultivation the lessee for shellfish or seaweed
    24  cultivation  shall have the exclusive right to use and take shellfish or
    25  seaweed from such leased lands for a period of two years from  the  date
    26  of  the  grant  or lease by such commissioner or until the expiration of
    27  the shellfish or seaweed cultivation lease, whichever is  the  earliest,
    28  and  may  prior  to the expiration of such period, remove and transplant
    29  the shellfish or seaweed from such lands to other lands leased, owned or
    30  controlled by such lessee.
    31    § 2. Severability. The provisions of this act shall be  severable  and
    32  if  any  portion  thereof  or the applicability thereof to any person or
    33  circumstances shall be held invalid, the remainder of this act  and  the
    34  application thereof shall not be affected thereby.
    35    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
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