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Harborfront Park

By Aramis Khosronejad

The Long Island Explorium hosted its 7th annual Maker Faire on Saturday, June 8, also held at the Village Center and Harborfront Park. The event featured a wide range of activities, from hands-on origami lessons to robotics presentations, drawing a large and diverse crowd.

The Maker Faire has been a popular event well received by various communities. It aims to foster curiosity and provide a platform for people of all backgrounds and interests to share their passions. 

The Maker Faire concept originated in San Mateo, California, in 2006, created by the editors of Make magazine. Since then, it has grown into an international event, with Maker Faires held in cities like San Francisco, New York, Berlin and Barcelona as well as Port Jefferson.

Angeline Judex, executive director of the Long Island Explorium, emphasized that the Maker Faire is “a festival of invention and innovation for everybody. Not just for little kids but for adults as well.” She highlighted the event’s diversity, which makes it especially unique. The faire featured an impressive assortment of participants and interests, from radio clubs to robotics and sculptures made from ocean debris.

This year’s Maker Faire on Long Island featured more than 75 exhibitors and 120 presenters.

The Maker Faire is designed to feed curiosity and nurture knowledge. Judex stated that the purpose of the event is “to enhance education, enrich life and to empower minds,” teaching that “learning is lifelong.” She noted the importance of such events in today’s society, especially with the advent of artificial intelligence. By cultivating curiosity and providing a space for the exchange of information, the faire aims to inspire innovation. “The challenges of the future can be changed by innovations from today,” Judex said. “Science is really at the intersection of endless possibilities — we’re talking about infinite possibilities for the future.”

Judex encouraged attendees to “explore, discover, invent and inspire,” sharing the joy and wonder that sustains lifelong learning and curiosity. “There’s no finite end, the exploring always continues,” she said, emphasizing the importance of having fun while learning.

By Tara Mae

Ingenuity and imagination synthesize into innovation. The Long Island Explorium, a science and engineering museum in Port Jefferson, celebrates the projects and persons involved in this process with the 7th annual Maker Faire Long Island at the Port Jefferson Village Center, LI Explorium and Harborfront Park at 101 East Broadway on Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Featuring more than 75 exhibits and 120 presenters showcasing their creations, this multi-sensory experiential event lauds efforts in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). Exhibits range from robotics and cosplay design to environmental engineering projects, scientific advancements, kinetic art, and fire sculptures.

Highlights include:

Adam Foster’s Royal Trumpets: Majestic 15-foot kinetic pyrotechnic sound sculptures.

Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club: Bringing the Star Wars universe to life. (pictured above)

Long Island Drone Soccer: An electrifying new sport combining drone technology with soccer.

Princesses with Powertools: Empowering young engineers with hands-on projects.

Balloon Bot Brawl: A thrilling robot showdown led by high school maker Ray Rumore.

Learn to Solder Workshop: Taught by Elijah Horland of Mythbusters Jr, sponsored by PCBWay.

Besides individual contributions, organizations such as Suffolk County Community College, Brookhaven National Labs, and Stony Brook University will show some of their work. Scientists and educators from the university will also participate in ‘Ask a Scientist” Q&A sessions that enable young attendees to cultivate their curiosity as they ask scientific questions of professionals. 

In addition to the dialogues, displays, and demonstrations, the Faire will have live musical performances, including a songwriter showcase, from 1 to 5 p.m., and two performances by the Umisora Taiko Drummers.

“Maker Faire is a global movement that combines elements of classic science fairs with innovation, creativity, and STEAM. It is known as the ‘Greatest Show & Tell on Earth,’ showcasing makers’ ingenuity and creativity. Maker Faire Long Island…embodies this spirit,” said Long Island Explorium’s Director of Digital Media/Marketing/Programming Lisa Collet Rodriguez.

With conventions in other locations like New York City, San Francisco, Barcelona, and Berlin, the Maker Faire Long Island is part of a larger international initiative that fuses scientific experimentation with artistic expression. By embracing these pursuits, the family-friendly occasion seeks to engage audiences of all ages, with interactive elements geared towards youth. 

“I wish I had [Maker Faires] when I was younger. They have provided me a platform and support to share my works with tens of thousands of makers across the country, and inspire future generations of makers. It’s a win win,” said maker Adam Foster, of Rochester.

A musician, steel fabricator designer, and engineer, Foster made “The Royal Trumpets,” six 15 foot tall kinetic sculptures. They allude to the trumpets that historically announced royalty. And at the Maker Faire, this grandeur is both a celebration of community and an invitation for new members to join it. 

Encouraging visitors to dream and learn are not the only collective goals shared by many of the participants. The Faire is an opportunity for pragmatic ponderers and methodical mavericks to network with each other.

“Popular subcultures always have places to gather, such as Comic-Con. Maker Faire is that place for people passionate about the intersection of Arts and STEM now called STEAM,” maker Elijah Horland, of Brooklyn, said. “At a Maker Faire we gather, not just to show off our skills, but to collaborate with peers, mentors, and beginners alike in a supportive environment.”

Through his company, Not-A-Bomb, Horland develops mechatronic projects that incorporate engineering lessons curated to entertain and educate. He is a MythBuster from the Discovery Channel reality show and the executive producer of Maker Faire Coney Island. 

A number of the makers participate in other Maker Faires throughout the country, sharing their projects with interested parties and building relationships. 

“Maker Faires are these amazing events where people from all different backgrounds and with all different interests can come together and find a bigger community,” said maker Caeley Looney of Austin, Texas.

Originally from Farmingdale, Looney is the founder and CEO of Reinvented Inc., a nonprofit organization that hosts Princesses with Powertools. The program connects girls with women in Science, Technology, and Math (STEM) professions who, while dressed as princesses, teach them how to operate their first power tools. 

“Innovation is diversity driven. Without having diverse minds and voices working on the leading edge of science and technology, new ideas, products, and solutions will never be created. Women play a huge role in this, but historically have been left out of these fields and conversations — and that bias and pushback is still felt by students today,” she added. 

Bringing STE[A]M to individuals who historically have less access to it is a motivating factor and ongoing endeavor for many Faire associates, according to Long Island Explorium Executive Director Angeline Judex.

“Many people don’t think of museums as agents of social change in communities, but the Long Island Explorium plays a vital role on Long Island as a lighthouse of enriching STEM programs that foster inventive thinking and serve as a catalyst for empowerment,” Judex said. 

“The Maker Faire is strategically aligned with our vision to promote STEM discovery, learning, and innovation that will shape the intellect, social values, and principles of future generations,” she added.

Advanced tickets may be purchased online through EventBrite. Individual tickets, including fees, are $13.36 per person. A family pass, which has tickets for two adults and up to five children, are $57.65 including fees. Tickets at the door for individuals are $16.65, including fees. Tickets at the door for family passes are $62.80, including fees. 

For more information, including a complete list of exhibitors and schedules, visit longisland.makerfaire.com. 

Presented by Long Island Health Collaborative, Sponsored by AARP Long Island

The Long Island Health Collaborative has announced the return of  its annual AARP Long Island-sponsored Walk with a Doc series. Now in its third year, Long Islanders are invited to join the two organizations and their physician partners at the following free community walks on the third Saturday of May, June, September, and October.

The series aims to tackle chronic disease through free community walks where physicians will briefly speak about how attendees can prevent or better manage chronic conditions in their own lives through simple lifestyle choices like a balanced diet and regular physical activity before leading attendees on a walk where they can ask the doc questions and keep the conversation going.

All walks are FREE and walkers must register in advance to attend. State parking fees are waived. Learn more and register for each walk at the links below.

Walk with a Doc: Harborfront Park

Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 10 AM

Harborfront Park, Port Jefferson, NY 11777

Led by Dr. Shamim Khan, Interventional Cardiologist, Catholic Health

Register Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/852479829117

Walk with a Doc: Belmont Lake

Saturday, June 15, 2024 at 10 AM

Belmont Lake State Park

Led by Dr. Keasha S. Guerrier, Family Medicine, Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital

Register Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/852497782817

Walk with a Doc: Sunken Meadow

Saturday, September 21, 2024 at 10 AM

Sunken Meadow State Park, New York State Reference Rte 908K, Kings Park, NY 11754

Led by Dr. Anupama Paranandi, Preventive Medicine Resident, Stony Brook Medicine

Special guest speakers from Suffolk County DOH’s Office of Minority Health and the Long Island Sound Study will discuss increasing equitable access to the Long Island Sound in the region and the Long Island Sound Estuary Program

Register Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/858998687197

 

Walk with a Doc: Hempstead Lake

Saturday, October 19, 2024 at 10 AM

Hempstead Lake State Park

Led by Dr. Gerard A. Baltazar, Critical Care Surgeon, NYU Langone Hospital

Register Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/858992087457

 

Why take a walk in the (New York State) park?

 According to the New York State Department of Health, chronic diseases such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, health disease, and stroke are the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. These conditions account for seven of every ten deaths and affect 90 million Americans. The good news is that these diseases are preventable with simple lifestyle choices, such as regular physical activity and a balanced diet. Walking is a simple, free way to get in regular physical activity that can help you manage or even prevent chronic conditions.

It’s no secret that Long Island is home to a multitude of scenic locations that lend themselves to safe, beautiful walking opportunities. In 2024,New York State Parks and Historic Sites also celebrates their Centennial, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of our parks and sites system. Three of our four 2024 walks will be held at New York State Parks.

For more information about Walk with a Doc, contact Brooke Oliveri, Manager of the Long Island Health Collaborative at[email protected] or call 631-963-4167.

Views from the April 8 solar eclipse. Photo courtesy Andrew Young

By Samantha Rutt

The skies above treated Long Island residents to a mesmerizing display as a partial solar eclipse captivated onlookers on Monday, April 8. With eager eyes turned skyward at its peak around 3:30 p.m., many marveled at the four-minute celestial phenomenon, a sight last seen in 2017.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, casting its shadow on our planet. On April 8, North Americans from Texas to Maine had the opportunity to witness the infrequent event, as the moon partially obscured the face of the sun, creating a spectacle for those lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

For many, witnessing a solar eclipse serves as a reminder of the wonders of the universe and our place within it. 

Where were you during the eclipse? 

At TBR News Media’s East Setauket offices, staff gathered together in the parking lot to catch a glimpse of the moon in front of the sun. Some wore specialized solar viewing glasses — that met the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard — while others relied on alternative methods like pinhole projectors or indirect viewing methods used to observe the eclipse safely.

At Stony Brook University, students gathered in masses on the Staller steps and across campus equipped with eclipse glasses to view the event.

In Port Jefferson village, locals were seen having set picnic arrangements in Harborfront Park. In Three Village, people flocked to the shoreline, completely crowding West Meadow and Stony Brook beaches. 

While some gathered in droves outdoors, others keyed into the television streams as CBS News and NASA, among other platforms, live streamed the event. 

The last solar eclipse visible from Long Island occurred on Aug. 21, 2017, when a total solar eclipse swept across the United States.

While Monday’s eclipse was a partial one in our area and a total eclipse in other parts of the United States, it still captured the imagination of many and provided a unique opportunity for residents. Communities came together to share in the wonder of the celestial show — from backyard gatherings to organized viewing events like those offered at various Suffolk County parks — as residents of all ages savored the experience.

Looking ahead, Long Islanders can mark their calendars for the next solar eclipse visible from our region as New York is not expected to be in another path of totality until 2079. 

As this year’s eclipse drew to a close, the memories of the solar event will linger in the minds of our communities. Later, I wondered how the Native Americans who lived on Long Island centuries ago experienced a total eclipse.

Due to walkway reconstruction, Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson is currently closed to the public.

In an exclusive interview, Village of Port Jefferson Mayor Lauren Sheprow offered updates on the park project, outlining the motivations guiding this initiative.

“We wanted to make sure that we could do the whole park with whatever solution we came up with,” she said. “The priority was safety, and then fiscal responsibility was the second responsibility,” leading to the choice of asphalt.

Roger Corcella, project manager for the park, said the preexisting walkways were not adequately maintained, prompting safety concerns from village officials.

He said the walkways were “in desperate need of repair,” noting, “It wasn’t safe to walk anymore, especially if you had any physical issues. It wasn’t [Americans with Disabilities Act]-compliant.”

Corcella added that the village considered various factors before deciding on asphalt for the walkways. He said the village required a material that would be cost-effective, durable, eco-friendly, customizable, ADA-compliant and require minimal maintenance.

He pointed to other municipalities, such as Brookhaven and Babylon, which use asphalt on park surfaces. “This is a very common practice to use this,” he said.

Further defending the choice of material, Corcella noted that asphalt enables Harborfront Park to serve residents as “a 12-month park” due to simple snow removal service.

During the November general meeting of the village board of trustees, former Mayor Margot Garant objected to the use of asphalt over stamped concrete due to environmental and permeability concerns [See story, “Harborfront Park walkways spark debate, former and current Port Jeff officials clash over materials,” Nov. 9, TBR News Media]. Responding to the objections, Sheprow reiterated her public safety concerns.

“We get way too many reports of trips and falls in the community and didn’t want Harborfront Park to be one of those locations,” the mayor said. “Therefore, we had to look at the whole entire park and look at resurfacing the walkways around the entire park.”

“We want to make the park accessible to everybody, and if we put in stamped concrete, we wouldn’t be able to do the whole park,” she added.

To finance the costs associated with the walkway reconstruction project, which totals $248,907, the village board is making use of grants from Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven that will subsidize over a third of the overall expense.

“We were looking at $90,000 that would help us pay for this project,” Sheprow said. “Had we not acted immediately, we wouldn’t have received it,” adding, “In order to be eligible for those grants, the understanding was that [the project] would have to be for the entire park. … We needed to be compliant with the requirements of the grants.”

During the interview, Sheprow referred to the practice of “deferred maintenance.” Given the safety concerns identified with the walkways, she concluded that the administration had to act.

“If you don’t address a situation when it first becomes an issue, it becomes an even bigger issue,” she said, adding, “My goal was not to defer the maintenance of the park any longer — to let it become a bigger issue — but to address it immediately.”

Corcella said he aims to complete the walkway reconstruction project by mid-December. To view the village’s full Q&A page on the Harborfront Park project, visit portjeff.com/harborfrontparkconstruction.

Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson is closed for walkway reconstruction until Jan. 1. Photo by Raymond Janis

Officials from past and current village administrations quarreled Monday evening, Nov. 6, over the ongoing walkway renovation project at Harborfront Park in downtown Port Jefferson.

During the public comment period, former Mayor Margot Garant expressed opposition to the project for its use of asphalt on walkways throughout the park.

“We’re demanding an immediate halt to the project to allow time for a thorough revision of the chosen materials, costs involved and the potential environmental impact,” Garant said. “We also call for a more transparent and inclusive decision-making process that genuinely considers public feedback.”

Village clerk Sylvia Pirillo said the administration had met with an engineer regarding the use of asphalt, referring to asphalt as the “industry standard” for its cost-effectiveness and durability.

“Part of the reason it’s the industry standard is that it’s maintenance-free,” Pirillo said. “And unlike the crushed blue stone,” — the material currently used on the walkways — “it actually is [Americans with Disabilities Act]-compliant, which was a tremendous factor in the decision-making as well as, of course, the cost differential.”

The village clerk pointed to the sanitary benefits of asphalt, noting that “animal feces and other dirt and problematic-type residue do not fall into it and can more easily be washed away.”

Garant referred to the extent of the renovation project as “not necessary” and “harmful to the environmental well-being and engineering design of the park,” saying asphalt contributes to heat retention and impermeability, “particularly problematic given our proximity to the waterfront.”

Public safety

Sergio Möller, community relations officer for Suffolk County Police Department’s 6th Precinct, reported favorable findings during the department’s public safety report, noting that crime was generally down throughout the village.

Following a SCPD survey at Brook Road, however, Möller said that the roadway “has become a problem.”

Code enforcement chief Andy Owen presented promising results from a traffic survey conducted on California Avenue, which found “a majority of people are in compliance,” with 94% of cars surveyed traveling at or below the speed limit.

Owen added that there were no incidents of note occurring during recent village-sponsored events.

To watch the full meeting of the village board, including trustee reports and board resolutions, see the video above.

Photo courtesy PJV

The following is a press release from the Village of Port Jefferson:

Apologies for any inconvenience.

Port Jefferson’s Harborfront Park will be closed to the public from Oct. 27 to Jan. 1, 2024 for the replacement of the park’s walkways.

For safety reasons, we ask that the public not visit the park during the ongoing construction.

Look for construction and park reopening updates on social media and on the official village website: www.portjeff.com.

Please contact village clerk Sylvia Pirillo at 631-473-4724 ext. 219, or by email at [email protected] with any questions.

Thank you for your patience while we build a beautified, more accessible and safer Harborfront Park for all our residents and visitors.

AHOY MATEY! Visit with pirates at this year's festival. File photo by Aidan Johnson/TBR News Media

By Julianne Mosher 

Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson will turn into a pirate’s paradise this weekend and it’ll make visitors want to shake their “booty.”

On Saturday, Aug. 19, singers from around the world will head to the Village to share the gift of song, and some history, with tunes that came straight from the seas, as part of the 3rd annual Port Jefferson Sea Shanty & Maritime Music Festival.

Amy Tuttle, program director of the Greater Port Jefferson Arts Council (GPJAC), said that the free event brings in local sea shanty singers and others from all over New England, Canada, and even the UK. From noon until dusk, visitors can sit and sing along in Harborfront Park, located at 101-A East Broadway, or they might catch glimpses of a few street singers walking around town. 

“Port Jefferson was a shipbuilding community,” Tuttle said. “A lot of the captains and ship builders lived in these very houses that are still standing.”

Tuttle added that over a century ago, Port Jefferson was one of the largest shipbuilding communities in the state. Not only were a large number of big boats created right on these docks, but a huge number of small, wooden boats, as well. 

“Sea shanties were work songs developed by people who worked on and who built the ships,” she said. “They could be considered one of the first genres of world music —wherever there was a port, there would be different influences. It’s really interesting.”

And to really bring the vibe of early century Port Jefferson, across the park at Bayles Boat Shop, which is part of the Long Island Seaport and Eco Center (LISEC) and a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of maritime history on Long Island, will be hosting its annual Sikaflex Quick and Dirty Boat Build. 

Now in its 12th year, the event allows would-be boat designers and builders to have a weekend of fun and showcase their creative skills and talents. Using only a provided supply of plywood, plastic cable ties, and Sikaflex/sealant, two member teams must build, paint and then paddle their design around the village dock in Port Jefferson Harbor located just offshore of Harborfront Park.

Several two-person teams will have five hours on Saturday and return on Sunday to decorate their boats and prepare to race them at 3 p.m. Trophies will be awarded after the races for design, decoration, first built and race winners. “People will be able to watch the boats being built, listen to music and sing along,” Tuttle said. 

Port Jefferson hosted the first Sea Shanty & Maritime Music Festival in 2021. Tuttle said that for many years, Mystic CT would host a Sea Shanty Festival, but unfortunately, it was discontinued. In the time passing, she heard from many of the artists looking for other places to sing their songs, so the GPJAC partnered with the Village of Port Jefferson and the Folk Music Society of New York to bring this whaling town back to its roots.

Featured performers will include John Roberts, David Jones, David Littlefield, Bonnie & Dan Milner, Heather Wood, Joseph Morneault, Geoff Kaufman, and Deirdre Murtha and Alan Short — plus a grand finale concert featuring all the musicians at around 6 p.m. Pirates at Large will be at the “pirate camp” outside the Village Center in character, singing along, too.

“Each year this gets a little bit bigger and we’re so excited to bring it back again,” Tuttle said. “There’s nothing else like it.” For more information, visit www.gpjac.org.

The Memorial Parade of Boats can be viewed from Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson. File photo by Bob Savage
View Memorial Parade of Boats at Harborfront Park prior to race

It’s time once again to sail for a cure as the 14th annual Village Cup Regatta, a friendly competition between Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson, returns on Saturday, Sept. 9. 

Presented by the Port Jefferson Yacht Club, the Regatta raises funds for Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program and the Lustgarten Foundation, which funds pancreatic cancer research. Last year’s Regatta raised more than $109,000 — a record sum — which was divided between Mather Hospital and the Lustgarten Foundation. The event has raised almost $860,000 over the past 13 years.

The Regatta consists of Yacht Club-skippered sailboats divided into two teams representing Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson. Employees from the Hospital and Village help crew the boats, which race in one of three classes based on boat size. 

The festivities begin in Harborfront Park, 101 East Broadway in Port Jefferson Village, at 10 a.m, where you can purchase shirts, commemorative hats, nautical bags and mugs. The Memorial Parade of Boats begins at 11 a.m. at the Port Jefferson Village dock. All sailboats participating in the Regatta will pass by the park dressed in banners and nautical flags on their way out to the Long Island Sound for the race which begins at 1 p.m.

Actor, director and local resident Ralph Macchio will once again serve as Village Cup Regatta Celebrity Ambassador for the event. Macchio has helped to publicize the important work of the two programs funded by the Regatta for the last ten years. Macchio’s wife, Phyllis, is a nurse practitioner in Mather Hospital’s Palliative Medicine Program.

Following the Regatta, a celebratory Skipper’s Reception and presentation of the Village Cup will take place  at 3:30 p.m. in a restored 1917 shipyard building that today serves as the Port Jefferson Village Center, just steps away from the Harborfront Park.

To sign up as a crew member for the Mather Hospital team, contact Cindy Court at 631-476-2723 or [email protected]

To sign up as a crew member for the Port Jefferson Village team, contact Sylvia at 631-473-4724, ext. 219 or email [email protected].

For more information and to purchase tickets to the reception ($50 per person includes food, wine, beer and raffles), please visit www.portjeffersonyachtclub.com or www.facebook.com/villagecupregatta.

For further questions, please call 631-512-1068.

Architect Michael Schwarting presents during a climate resilience forum at Port Jefferson Village Hall on April 5. File photo by Raymond Janis
By Aidan Johnson

Port Jefferson is known for its rich history. Many of its buildings have designated placards that show how they fit into the village’s unique story. However, the newer buildings have just as much of a story to tell, thanks to Michael Schwarting.

For decades, he has worked as an architect, helping to shape the identity of the local area.

Schwarting knew he wanted to be an architect from the time he was in high school. He has served as a professor at Columbia University and the New York Institute of Technology. Now, he is retiring after 50 years of teaching architecture and urban design and from the latter he will be a professor emeritus.

While teaching at Columbia, Schwarting met his wife, Frances Campani.

“I had met her when I was teaching at Columbia, but she wasn’t my student, and I had actually hired her to teach at New York Institute of Technology when I was a chairperson there,” Schwarting said in a phone interview.

‘It’s really been quite wonderful to be in a town where you could really be connected to everything that’s going on and be involved in important public things.’

— Michael Schwarting

Schwarting and Campani were married in 2000 and opened Campani and Schwarting Architects.

“Frances had been living for some years in Port Jefferson and practicing on her own, and we combined to make Campani and Schwarting,” he said.

Schwarting has enjoyed working with his wife at their firm and says that it isn’t rare for firms to have husband-and-wife teams. 

Together, Schwarting and Campani have striven to keep the character of Port Jefferson and its surrounding towns alive.

“I think that’s one of the really gratifying things,” he explained. “It’s really been quite wonderful to be in a town where you could really be connected to everything that’s going on and be involved in important public things,” he added.

One such project that Schwarting and his firm designed was Heritage Park in Mount Sinai, colloquially known as the Wedge, in the early 2000s.

“That was a wonderful project, because the Mount Sinai community organization was really wonderful to work with,” he said.

“It started out with a project that they came to us about when we were teaching to have our students do some design ideas, which were presented to the community, and that evolved into being more realistic than the students usually are,” Schwarting elaborated.

One of his favorite memories and most important projects was the work done for Port Jefferson’s harbor front. While he was the director of an urban design program at NYIT, he had his students present their plans for the harbor at one of the village meetings.

Even though the plans were all extravagant, the mayor was still excited by the presentation, and asked them to continue working on it.

“And that sort of turned into a grant the village got to study the harbor front, and we made this harbor front plan that was part of the village comprehensive plan,” Schwarting said. 

“We finished it in 2014 and it … was combined with a lot of our work on village projects, but that one is the one that we’re still kind of referencing in trying to deal with the stormwater mitigation and also rising tides, which are right there in the village harbor.”

While the mitigation efforts are difficult due to Port Jefferson’s natural flooding, which has been exacerbated by the parking lots and asphalt being put over ground that once absorbed the water, Schwarting says that they are “slowly uncovering all kinds of possibilities to do natural storm surge mitigation.”

Schwarting has been recognized for his work, and has received multiple American Institute of Architecture awards for places such as the mixed-use building on Main Street at Mill Creek Road.

While he may be retiring from teaching, Schwarting will still be going full steam with the grant for flood mitigation and will continue to help the hamlets and villages within Brookhaven keep their unique aesthetics.