Is the Montauk Working Waterfront Threatened? Major Changes Waiting In Wings

For all the talk about how much Montauk has changed with the influx of wealthy part-timers, the planning consultants conducting the town’s hamlet studies say that what’s happened so far in the easternmost hamlet is a mere flicker of what is coming. And no place in Montauk has more potential for new development and large-scale redevelopment than the harbor area. Several large tracts of vacant commercial land—many of which are already for sale,,, Throughout the four days of charrettes—a semi free-form discussion between the development experts and residents common in long-term planning studies, the fishing industry’s root role in the Montauk harbor region was the anchor issue. Despite the upswell of surfing chic in recent years, the down-to-earth culture, economics and aesthetic of the fishing industry is Montauk’s defining characteristic and must be preserved, residents told the consultants repeatedly. “To lose the commercial fishing docks is to lose the essence of Montauk,” resident Andy Harris said. “The economic contribution of the commercial fishing industry in this town is incredible. They live in this town, they shop in this town, and they don’t go out to eat at restaurant groups that send the money back to New York City.” Read the story here 13:33