Schumer First Called for Designation in 2012 But Policy Requires Naming Occur Five Years Post-Mortem; Designation Needs Federal Approval Before Navigation Charts Can Reflect Name Change

Schumer Presses U.S. Board of Geographic Names to Designate Section of Hempstead Harbor In Honor of Trailblazer, May Newburger, First Female Town Supervisor on Long Island

Schumer: May Newburger’s Contributions to North Hempstead and All of Long Island Should Forever Be Immortalized in Hempstead Harbor


Today, United States Senator Charles E. Schumer renewed his call to rename a portion of the Hempstead Harbor in honor of trailblazing former North Hempstead Supervisor, and former NYS Assemblywoman, May Newburger. Schumer made his initial push in 2012, however, federal law requires a person be deceased at least five years before renaming a navigational channel in their honor.  May Newburger tragically passed away in August 2012, and with the five year post-mortem date soon approaching, Schumer is renewing his push. Before the cove can officially be renamed, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) must approve the application to make changes on federally published navigational charts.

“May Newburger charted a course for public servants to follow and her legacy will live on for years to come,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “With the five year anniversary of her passing on the horizon, it is time to immortalize May Newburger’s immense contribution of service with the designation of May Newburger Cove.”

“May Newburger’s passion was protecting and preserving the environment and I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to her than to have this serene cove overlooking Hempstead Harbor officially carry her name. I appreciate Senator Schumer’s urging the U.S. Geological Survey to approve this request,” said Judi Bosworth, North Hempstead Town Supervisor.

In order for a name change to officially take effect, an application must be submitted to the US Board of Geographic Names, part of the USGS, which is a Federal Advisory Board in charge of maintaining uniform geographic name usage throughout the Federal Government and has the authority to change nautical charts. Upon approval, NOAA must then officially make the changes and publish new nautical charts.

May Newburger was the first female Supervisor of a Town on Long Island and served five terms in office, beginning in 2004. Prior to being elected Supervisor, May spent two years as a Town Councilwoman and eight years as a New York State Assemblywoman, from 1979 to 1986.  As supervisor, May, transformed a $7 million budget deficit to a $7.7 million surplus and made North Hempstead the first town on Long Island to adopt a debt reduction plan that emphasized the need for long-term strategies. May built a reputation around her dedication to the environment, securing $200,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency to designate New Cassel as a Brownfields Pilot Community and she is credited with creating The Environmental Legacy fund which continues to be a tool to preserve open space and create additional park land in all parts of the Town. May Newburger tragically passed away on August 30th, 2012 at the age of 92.

In his letter to the Board of Geographic Names, Schumer urged the agency to approve the application so that the next round of nautical maps published has the designation listed.


Lou Yost

Executive Secretary

U.S. Board on Geographic Names

U.S. Geological Survey

12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 523

Reston, Virginia 20192-0523


Dear Mr. Yost:  

I am writing to ask that the United States Board on Geographic Names (USBGN) in conjunction with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) designate and rename a portion of Hempstead Harbor in Port Washington, “May Newburger Cove.” It is my understanding that it is the policy of the USGS to discourage naming features for living or recently deceased persons until after a period of five years has passed.  The community of North Hempstead lost May Newburger in August of 2012 and I now ask that you begin the task of processing the Town of North Hempstead’s application swiftly, so the updated name can be printed on navigational charts as soon as possible.   Since this process can take years to finalize, I am asking that your agencies work together to expedite the town’s application in order to honor the many achievements of May Newburger.

The aforementioned portion of Hempstead Harbor will be renamed after May Newburger, a strong local leader in the Town of North Hempstead and a great public servant. May Newburger was an Assemblywoman for eight years until 1986.  I’m proud to say I witnessed her strong leadership firsthand while serving alongside of her in the New York State Assembly.  She was also Town Councilwoman for two years before being elected as the Supervisor of the Town of North Hempstead.  She led the town as supervisor for 10 years.  She was also appointed as the head of the Nassau County Planning Federation. The community knows May Newburger as a trailblazer who dedicated her life to enhancing the lives of those residing in the Town of North Hempstead.  She paved the way for women to become more involved in local government.  May Newburger played an instrumental role in many of the town’s environmental projects and has always been an outspoken supporter of environmentally sustainable and energy efficient issues. One of her most noteworthy environmental accomplishments includes turning an environmentally damaged locale in the Town of North Hempstead into a remarkable golf course, Harbor Links, which won the “Environmental Stewardship Award.” She is also known for turning the Town of North Hempstead’s budget deficit into a $7.7 million surplus.  Mrs. Newburger’s distinguished career in public service is very much deserving of this honor.

It is clear that there is no other leader in the Town of North Hempstead who merits this accomplishment as much as May Newburger.  The vast achievements of May Newburger can forever be immortalized in Hempstead Harbor. I strongly urge you to officially designate this portion of Hempstead Harbor, “May Newburger Cove.”


Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator 


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