Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter and the Islip Town Board, approved a resolution authorizing the first female in the Town of Islip to take ownership of one parcel of Town-owned Bay Bottom Land for the purpose of shellfish cultivation in the Great South Bay.
Aileen Ruddy of Fair Harbor, Fire Island, officially took ownership of the parcel after the Town Board passed the resolution at its Jan. 14 Town Board meeting.
Ruddy learned about the Town of Islip’s Bay Bottom Lease program a few years ago, after she left her job in New York City to become a full-time stay at home mother to her now 6-year old son.
“I always knew that was the next thing that I was going to do. To be able to make a living and help the environment was so exciting to me. Food brings people together, so I love that idea,” Ruddy said. “I’m in a perfect spot for oyster farming right here, with the Fire Island inlet close by,” she added.
Ruddy said she’s not a farmer yet, but said she is looking forward to learning, and earning her title with hands-on experience.
“I’m in the beginning stage of this process,” she said. “I have plans to work on a farm in April, and I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty,” she added.
“This aquaculture program is vital to the health of the Great South Bay,” said Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter. “Each oyster filters 30-50 gallons of water per day."