By Janee Law
The Huntington Town Board has accepted a $2,000 donation from the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht and Boating Clubs intended to make the waters of Huntington and Northport harbors safer for boaters.
The funds were approved Feb. 7 and donated to the town’s department of maritime services. They’ll be used to purchase of LED solar navigation lights that will be affixed on 13 channel markers in the harbors, according to town officials.
Stephanie Quarles, GHCYBC commodore, said council strives to be “a force to do good for education, boat safety and awareness.”
The LED lights are expected to be installed come springtime, Quarles said. Each buoy in both harbors will be equipped with the lights.
“We go around the harbors at night and there’s a lot of buoys that are not lit and you have to stand there on your boat with your flashlight and your GPS and make sure you don’t hit them,” she said. “That’s a danger when people come in at night so that’s what we decided to fund this year.”
Once installed, the lights will automatically turn on at night so that boaters will be able to see them at a distance.
Funds for the LED solar navigation lights were raised during GHCYBC’s “Safe Boating Week” in May 2016. Now that the funds have been donated, Quarles said, the town’s maritime services department will be in charge of the installation and maintenance of the lights.
“With the price of LED solar lights dropping dramatically, municipalities around the country have been adding them to channel markers to improve navigation and safety, with the support of the Coast Guard,” Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone said in an emailed statement. “I thank the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht and Boating Clubs for the donation that makes this project possible and for continuing to work with the Town on measures to improve boating safety.”