The Brookhaven Town Board voted unanimously at its Feb. 13 meeting to buy 106 parcels of land in Mastic Beach located within environmentally sensitive wetlands near rivers and streams along the Great South Bay.
The $1.35 million purchase price of the properties — many of which are not connected and are adjacent to state-, county-, and town-owned lands — will be offset by a $250,000 grant from the Nature Conservancy.
Supervisor Ed Romaine said the purchases were necessary to make sure they are saved from future development and to protect the area from flooding.
Mastic Beach was among the communities across Long Island hard hit by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Preserving these properties will mitigate damage from extreme high tides, storms and hurricanes, the town said.
“It’s a major win for the people in the area,” said Councilman Dan Panico, who sponsored the resolution.
The properties are home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, waterfowl, fish and other aquatic-based animals that help to maintain the balance of nature in the wetlands and beyond.
“When Super Storm Sandy hit, it became very clear that we needed to do something to save the wetlands before it was too late,” Panico said in a statement. “The Town has demolished many abandoned houses and returned properties to their natural state, but we need to do more. Our land acquisitions, and those recently approved by the County, will help keep future flooding and storm damage down to a minimum during the next severe weather event or hurricane that bears down on the peninsula.”