Today’s news:

Hammond Cove beach reopens

Everyone into the water!

Kiddies and adults at the Locust Point Yacht Club will be able to keep cool this summer. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has approved a long-sought after swimming permit for a small area of beach on Hammond Cove.

The permit was obtained after months of paperwork and water testing to ensure that the area was safe for swimming. Community Board 10 and Senator Jeff Klein’s office assisted with submitting the necessary water samples, creating proper safety plans, and filing the appropriate paper work in accordance with standards outlined by the NYCDHM.

“With summer around the corner, families are looking for opportunities to enjoy the weather in safe, relaxing, and fun ways,” Klein said. “The Locust Point Yacht Club has always been a great place for families to get together, and now they can add swimming at the club to their memorable activities.”

Senator Klein joined members of the private club at their annual card party on Saturday, April 17 to celebrate the new license and another year of fun in the sun. Club president Will McCormack said that having the ability to be in the water would be a tremendous addition to the club, and thanked Klein specifically.

“It’s going to make a large addition to our yacht club having a beach for our children to swim in,” McCormack said. “It has been one year of fighting for this and Senator Klein never gave up. I really appreciate all of his hard work.”

In April 2009, Community Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns contacted Senator Klein’s office requesting his assistance in helping the yacht club navigate the permit process. At Kearns’ request, Klein’s office immediately contacted the Department of Environmental Conservation to find out if the quality of the water met the necessary requirements to allow for swimming at the club. DEC confirmed the water met the required standards and referred the matter to the DOHMH for final approval. After still more water sample testing and the Yacht club working to create a beach safety plan, swimming was approved.

Club member Pat Devine said that there had been swimming at the club previously, but that the lengthy renewal swimming permit process stopped people from going in the water for over a decade.

“The club let the permit lapse a dozen years ago, and now there are a lot of new members with small children,” Devine said.

“There is a designated area where there will be swimming. It is a great spot for kids to come in at low tide and dig for worms, and to swim at high tide. These are things that many club members did as children.”

Devine gave much of the credit for reopening the beach to the hard work of Klein and Kearns, and also said that McCormack was a work horse when it came to handling the tidal wave of paperwork necessary to bring swimming back to the club.

Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 742-3393 or procchio@cnglocal.com.

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