100 Acre Former Duck Farm Acquired in Riverhead

February 18, 2022
Conservation News
Water Quality

There’s great news on the conservation front! Broad Cove, a 100-acre waterfront parcel on Flanders Bay in Aquebogue, was purchased by the Trust on December 31, 2021. For decades a top conservation priority on the East End, a key step has been made toward the permanent protection of this environmentally sensitive parcel in the Peconic Bay Estuary.

“Our family is thrilled with this outcome,” said Andreas Weisz, managing partner of Walo, LLC who owned the property. His grandfather, Stanley Weisz, acquired the land over 30 years ago. “My grandfather always wanted to see the land preserved, what we called the duck farm. We see this as his legacy, his pride and joy.”


Trust Project Manager Julie Wesnofske and Andreas Weisz, managing partner of Walo, LLC

Broad Cove has been sought after by conservationists and developers alike for many years. Zoned for a high impact, mixed-use resort, the owner, Walo, LLC, accepted an offer from a developer in late 2020 and a contract was under review. Fortunately, when Andreas Weisz learned that the Peconic Land Trust was prepared to make an offer as well, he agreed to hold off in hopes that the property could be conserved instead.

“We’re thankful to the owner for working with us to conserve this incredible property,” said John v.H. Halsey, President, Peconic Land Trust. “We also thank our supporters for stepping up at this time to loan the Trust the funds necessary to complete the acquisition quickly. By acting when we did, we were able to secure the conservation that has alluded this property for so long.”

The Trust was able to purchase the land with funds from six lines of credit provided by Trust supporters totaling $11.5 million for the purchase and $500,000 for carrying costs. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has expressed interest in partnering with the Trust to permanently protect the property.

Acting DEC Regional Director Cathy Haas said, “We commend our colleagues at the Peconic Land Trust for their work to protect this one-of-a-kind parcel. For decades the Broad Cove property has topped government acquisition lists, including New York State’s Open Space Conservation Plan. This acquisition is a great step toward permanent protection of a landmark property and DEC looks forward to continuing to work with Peconic Land Trust in their ongoing work.”

“We had very little time, but we couldn’t let Broad Cove slip through our fingers,” Halsey said. “It’s so important to the Peconic Bay Estuary for climate change resiliency, water quality, and plant and animal habitats.”


Adjacent to Indian Island County Park, the property includes 25 acres of tidal wetlands and 8,000 feet of shoreline on Terry Creek and Broad Cove in Flanders Bay. It also features woodlands and open fields.

“Over the past six months, as we were working out the details, I’ve spent so much time walking the land. I’ve come to appreciate how special it is – its peacefulness and the crystal-clear waters of the canals. Ideally, this is what this land should be – a nature preserve and a place for people to enjoy the woods, the water. I look forward to visiting in the future with my family,” added Andreas.


Broad Cove is the site of the former Broad Cove Duck Farm founded by Joseph P. Celic Sr. in the 1930s.

Susan Holden, current Orient resident and granddaughter of Joseph P. Celic Sr., speaking on behalf of the Celic family said “Our family is so delighted that the Peconic Land Trust has saved this very special piece of waterfront property from development. We look forward to supporting its restoration and supplying the Trust with historical information of its time as one of the largest producers of famous Long Island duckling.”


Betty Celic Holden, daughter of Joseph P. Celic Sr. at Broad Cove.

To learn more about this project, contact Julie Wesnofske, Project Manager at

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