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Feb 2, 2018 2:28 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Town To Conduct Three-Year Tiger Salamander Study In Riverside Wetlands

Feb 6, 2018 1:22 PM

The Southampton Town Board is preparing to solicit bids, seeking to hire a company to conduct a survey to see if there are tiger salamanders roaming in Riverside.

The study is needed so that the town can move forward with plans to revitalize the area, since the presence of the tiny creatures could be a major obstacle.

The eastern tiger salamander—also known as a mole salamander, because of the way it burrows in the dirt and spends most of its time underground—is in danger of becoming regionally extinct, according to Ashley Federici, an environmental educator at the South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center in Bridgehampton. The amphibians, which grow to be between 7 and 8 inches in length, are at risk of becoming endangered on all of Long Island due to development and human interaction, she added.

As a result, the Department of Environmental Conservation is requesting the town do a three-year study to see if any tiger salamanders are living in the wetlands in Riverside. The length of the study correlates with the length of a typical tiger salamander’s breeding schedule, according to officials.

Assistant Town Planning Director Janice Scherer said on Friday that the Planning Department knew that the freshwater wetlands in part of the Riverside Overlay District, where revitalization plans are expected to commence, could be home to tiger salamanders, so it included extra setbacks in the plans.

No tiger salamanders have actually been reported in the district to date, according to Ms. Scherer and Town Planner Kyle Collins.

“The development plans already took it into account …” Ms. Scherer said of the possible tiger salamander’s presence. “This is to definitively know.”

Still, the town will have to comply with the state’s requests to complete the study. Mr. Collins said the necessary funds for the study were included in the Planning Department’s 2018 budget, though neither he nor Ms. Scherer would share the cost this week, explaining that it could influence the bids.

The Town Board is expected to approve a resolution allowing the department to put out bids at its February 13 regular meeting.

The Riverside revitalization project is an action plan, approved in 2015, that centers on creating an “optional overlay” zoning code to give property and business owners the freedom to decide if they want to develop under current zoning or under terms of a new zoning code that would incorporate mixed uses in certain areas of the hamlet.

The first new construction proposal under the new code is for a building planned to house medical offices and workforce apartments on the traffic circle, in the place of a vacant former diner.

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Was that done before they started on the circle in riverhead? What will they do, gather them up and house them somewhere else? What is the plan?
Has to be a plan.$$$$$$
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Feb 2, 18 3:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Like Donald Trump said idiots and government will have you waiting 10 years for permits. When they were looking for the tiger salamanders did they find the crackheads they certainly aren't endangered
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Feb 2, 18 8:35 PM
Wheres the study of Tiger Salamnders for Sandy Hollow housing complex???
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Feb 3, 18 7:53 AM
1 member liked this comment
Spotted tiger salamander ARE in the area!!
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Feb 3, 18 8:47 AM
Where on Sandy Hollow is "hell on earth" starting?

What conditions are currently present that are creating the start of "hell on earth"?
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Feb 5, 18 10:50 AM
I'm selling tiger salamander traps, not guar ranted, cost not shared at this time...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Feb 3, 18 5:24 PM
So, I was at a ZBA hearing last week. The first new building on crackhead circle was trying to get a jump on being closed\r to the road in the overlay.

The ZBA said, barring and environmental concerns, we should be able to approve you next meetin...

By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Feb 5, 18 8:55 PM
Waste of money. Tiger salamanders are sold as fish bait in the Carolinas.
By A Great American (103), East Quogue on Feb 5, 18 10:31 PM
People east of the canal want all the"affordable housing" in Hampton Bays. Go Sandy Hollow, build it BIG. Cant wait for all the NIMBYs to respond.
By P. Revere (152), hampton Bays on Feb 6, 18 1:31 PM