Senator Frantz Supports Proposal to Improve Water Safety in Long Island Sound

February 1, 2013
State Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-36) testifies before the Environment Committee in support of legislation to improve water safety in Long Island Sound.

State Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-36) testifies before the Environment Committee in support of legislation to improve water safety in Long Island Sound.

Hartford – State Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-36) testified before the General Assembly’s Environment Committee in support of Senate Bill 174, An Act Prohibiting the Use of Bamboo Stakes to Mark Shellfish Beds in Long Island Sound on Wednesday, January 30th.

“Along our shores, buoyed bamboo stakes are used to identify the borders of commercial shellfish beds in the Long Island Sound,” said Senator Frantz in prepared remarks. “The Greenwich Shellfish Commission brought to my attention the hazards that this antiquated marking system poses to the boating community.”

Roger Bowgen, Chairman of the Greenwich Shellfish Commission, joins State Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-36) to testify during a public hearing at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
Roger Bowgen, Chairman of the Greenwich Shellfish Commission, joins State Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-36) to testify during a public hearing at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

The bill would eliminate the usage of bamboo staking for shellfish beds in Long Island Sound in order to improve water safety. According to state law, shellfish beds must be marked by buoys or stakes, but many boaters have expressed concern over the possible danger these bamboo stakes present to watercraft.

“Many shellfishing craft operators now use GPS and chart plotter technology to identify shellfish beds and consider the use of bamboo stakes to be outdated and unnecessary,” Senator Frantz continued. “Many boaters consider buoyed stakes to be a hazard, especially at night when they cannot be seen. If they are broken, these stakes can leave a very sharp spear-like point, oftentimes just below the surface of the water.”

Senator Frantz was joined at the public hearing by Roger Bowgen, Chairman of the Greenwich Shellfish Commission, and Walt Alder, Commodore of the Riverside Yacht Club, who also testified in support of the proposed legislation.