Peconic Baykeeper Awards $10K Grant for Dedicated Shellfish Spawner Sanctuary in Support of Shinnecock Bay Restoration Project
Baykeeper partners with Stony Brook University efforts to restore Shinnecock Bay water quality
SOUTHAMPTON, NY, June 2, 2014 – Peconic Baykeeper has awarded $10,000 to Stony Brook University’s Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program to sponsor a shellfish spawner sanctuary in a dedicated location in the Bay. Working with the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at the Stony Brook Southampton campus, the grant will fund a designated clam sanctuary and representatives from Peconic Baykeeper will assist marine scientists from the school in the deployment of clams in Shinnecock Bay.
As filter feeders, shellfish are critical to balancing nutrient levels and helping to maintain the overall health of bays. Based on research conducted by Stony Brook marine biologists, a link has been established between increased nitrogen levels in our ground and surface waters, the rise of harmful algal blooms and the collapse of our once thriving shellfish populations. Taking steps to reverse the decline of our local estuarine environment, the Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program is rebuilding shellfish populations from strategically placed spawner sanctuaries around the bay.
“It has been well established that a healthy shellfish population is the key to clean water and a thriving estuarine environment,” said Daniel J. Gulizio, Peconic Baykeeper Board member. “We are very excited to partner with Stony Brook University’s Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program to advance our shared vision of a healthyShinnecock Bay.”
“Throughout Long Island, we are battling an increasing array of water quality issues including increased nitrogen in our ground and surface waters,” said Professor Christopher Gobler Associate Dean for Marine Sciences at the Stony Brook Southampton campus. “We are seeing a growing litany of impaired waterbodies, routine beach closures and the collapse of our once thriving shellfish populations. This must be reversed, and Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program is a model effort, so we are grateful to the Peconic Baykeeper organization for supporting this important initiative.”
“Effectively addressing the region’s water quality issues will take a comprehensive approach,” said Gulizio. “Peconic Baykeeper will continue to use advocacy, science, education and the law to fight for your fundamental right to clean water.”