The Long Island Regional Planning Council has released a comprehensive study of waterfront zoning and land use in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Commissioned by LIRPC and conducted by LiRO GIS, the study creates a database of nearly 100,000 waterfront business properties spanning both counties, two cities, 13 towns and 64 villages, according to a council statement.
The interactive database can be used by planners, governments and economists, and help identify coastal economic development, current uses and future opportunities in six core sectors, including aquaculture and fishing; marine construction; marine transportation; offshore wind development; marine research; and recreation and tourism.
The study also identifies damaged properties that were acquired after Hurricane Sandy, since surge and sea-level rise are concerns and remain critical factors in zoning, planning and economic development.
Long Island’s 79 local jurisdictions each have distinct zoning categories, classifications and definitions, resulting in nearly 600 zoning designations, according to LIRPC Chairman John Cameron.
“The council felt there was a need for a centralized and consistent database of what the current waterfront uses are and identify where the greatest blue economy development opportunities may lie ahead,” Cameron said in the statement. “We live on an island and are highly dependent upon our waters, not only for beauty and recreation but economically.”
The waterfront database can be accessed on the council’s website at lirpc.org.