Fire Island’s Aileen Ruddy First Woman from Islip to be Awarded Great South Bay Bottomland for Farming
Aileen Ruddy of Fair Harbor has become the first woman from Islip to get approved by lslip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter and the Islip Town Board for ownership of bottomland in the Great South Bay. Ruddy will participate in the Bay Bottom Lease Program and use one parcel of Town-owned land to cultivate shellfish.
The town approved Ruddy, a mother of a 6-year-old son who learned of the Bay Bottom Lease Program after she left her New York City job to become a stay-at-home mom, at a January 14 Town Board meeting.
“To be able to make a living and help the environment was so exciting to me,” Ruddy told GreaterLongIsland. “Food brings people together, so I love that idea.”
Ruddy doesn’t have any farming experience and admits “I’m in the beginning stage of this process,” adding, “I have plans to work on a farm in April, and I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty.”
“I’m in a perfect spot for oyster farming right here, with the Fire Island inlet close by,” she explained, saying she’s looking forward to learning more about shellfish cultivation.
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