Two public hearings have been scheduled for February aimed at protecting and enhancing the US$1.5bn marine industry in New York’s Suffolk County

The Suffolk County Marine Industry Revitalization Advisory Council (MIRAC) is seeking input from marina owners, commercial and recreational anglers and residents in deed of dredging “to help shape policy that will create the next generation of marine workers, support much-needed dredging projects, protect fisheries from deadly algal blooms, and ensure that beaches in New York’s Suffolk County remain a popular destination for years to come,” according to a media advisory issued this week by Suffolk Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory.

The Marine Industry Revitalization Advisory Council was created last year to determine how best to grow and protect Suffolk County’s 980 miles of shoreline and more than 300 bodies of water and to establish a relationship that will allow government and private industry to work with local communities to attract good paying jobs to the region and encourage the growth of the marine sector of the local economy.

“The $1.579bn economic impact of the marine industry, the 7,000-plus people in marine-related jobs, and our marine workforce development are essential to Suffolk County becoming an attractive location for new business. Our investment in recreational boating and fishing, which are at the heart of regional tourism, must continue to play a major role if we are to maintain our place as a tourist and vacation destination,” Gregory said.