Summer tradition: ‘Boat Party’ banished

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Citing environmental concerns, as well as complaints made residents, this week the Sag Harbor (N.Y.) Village Board of Trustees passed legislation expanding its mass gathering law in an effort to prevent the annual Sag Harbor Boat Party from continuing to host its August event in Sag Harbor Cove.

The boat party has been a fixture on Long Island’s South Fork for two decades and has drawn anywhere from 100 to 300 vessels whose owners and passengers spend the day listening to live music on a barge supplied by organizers.
Southampton Town Trustee Jon Semlear, a commercial fisherman, cited environmental reasons supporting the decision.

“To have 300 or 500 or 200 boats anchored in areas we have been working on with the Department of State and the Cornell Cooperative Extension to get eel grass to grow is contradictory to what we are trying to accomplish,” Semlear told The Sag Harbor Express.

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