NY.gov Portal State Agency Listing


What's Happening in the South Shore Estuary Reserve?

Extension of Deadline for NYS Water Grants Program for Wastewater and Drinking Water Projects until June 20, 2016

The Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) announced that with the enacted state budget providing an additional $100 million this year in grants, it can now broaden eligibility for wastewater projects and provide a total of $175 million in grants through Round 2 of the NYS Water Grants program. In addition, the maximum grant amount for drinking water projects has been increased from $2 million to $3 million or 60% of eligible projects costs, whichever is less.
To accommodate this expansion, the Round 2 application deadline has been extended from April 15, 2016 to June 20, 2016, with applications to be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. EFC will be expediting evaluation of the applications to ensure that grants may be awarded shortly thereafter. Applications are available at www.efc.ny.gov/NYSWaterGrants.
EFC will host an informational webinar on May 11, 2016 at 11 AM to provide an overview of the broadened program and grant application process. To register, click here.

Municipalities with questions are encouraged to e-mail NYSWaterGrants@efc.ny.gov or call EFC at 518-402-6924
EPA Funding Available to Prevent
Plastic Trash in New Jersey and New York Waters
Proposals are Due May 10, 2016

(New York, N.Y. – March 23, 2016)  The EPA has provided $365,000 to the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) to fund local projects that will prevent plastic trash polluting water bodies in New Jersey and New York. Projects may include a variety of plastic trash prevention solutions, including those that: implement source reduction and demonstrate prevention of trash from entering water bodies. Projects that are replicable and focus on upstream plastic trash prevention, and projects that benefit low-income communities near waterbodies will be prioritized. The deadline for applying through NEIWPCC is May 10, 2016.

The EPA funding is being awarded through a competitive grant process run by New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission will help stimulate creative, common sense solutions to the burgeoning problem of plastics in lakes, streams, harbors and oceans. Academic and educational institutions, local governments, and non-profit organizations are all eligible to apply for the funding. Funding requests should be a minimum of $45,000. To view the request for proposals and to apply, visit http://neiwpcc.org/contractors/opportunities.asp or contact Dan Peckham at 978-349-2512, dpeckham@neiwpcc.org.


Opening of the Western Section of South Shore Blueway Trail
June 4th


Planning for the western portion of the South Shore Estuary Reserve Blueway Trail has been completed.

Visit http://www.southshoreblueway.com to find out more about this important project.

Funding for the South Shore Blueway Trail has been made possible by the Village of Freeport, a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grant from the New York State Department of State under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund, and the Nassau County Environmental Bond Act Program. In 2015 several communities have been awarded funds from the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program.

Kayakers you may also find the following of interest:
Great South Bay Kayaking Project: http://gsbkayaking.com/about_project.html
Town of Babylon Kayaking Trails: http://www.townofbabylon.com/index.aspx?NID=346

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $500 Million in TIGER Discretionary Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced that the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER Discretionary Grant program) has up to $500 million available for capital projects related to highways, bridges, public transportation, rail, ports, and intermodal projects. A primary selection criterion specifically mentions addressing environmental sustainability including avoiding adverse environmental impacts to water quality, providing environmental benefits such as ground water recharge in areas of water scarcity, and stormwater mitigation, including green infrastructure. Applicants are encouraged to provide quantitative information, including baseline information that demonstrates how the project will reduce stormwater runoff. Eligible applicants are State, local, and tribal governments, transit agencies, port authorities, metropolitan planning organizations, other political subdivisions of State or local governments, and multi-State or multi-jurisdictional groups applying through a lead applicant. TIGER applications are due no later than April 29, 2016 at 8 PM E.D.T. Additional details and webinars: https://www.transportation.gov/tiger



Calling All Citizen Scientists

2016 Long Island Volunteer Alewife Survey
Mid-March to Mid-May

Alewife are a species of river herring native to Long Island. Like salmon, they are diadromous, meaning they split their life cycle between saltwater and freshwater. Each spring they return from the ocean to "run" up Long Island's tributaries to spawn in freshwater. Unfortunately, dams and culverts have restricted their access to most of this important habitat. More

Seatuck Environmental Association is working with partners across the region to improve access and restore local populations of these ecologically important fish. The Long Island Volunteer Alewife Survey, organized by Seatuck and their partner organizations, is designed to find tributaries where "remnant" runs of alewife still exist, so it can be determined how to help them.

To read more and sign-up for the survey and training dates, visit: https://www.seatuck.org/index.php/2015-alewife-survey


Environmental Facilities Corporation
NYS Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015
Funding Opportunity

The New York State Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015 provides $200 million in grant funding over three state fiscal years, including $75 million this year to fund municipal wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects that improve water quality and protect public health.

If additional funds are appropriated in the enacted 2016-17 state budget, additional grant funding will be available for this round.

Completed applications must be submitted to NYSWaterGrants@efc.ny.gov no later than the close of business on Friday, April 15, 2016.

For inquiries on the grant program, please email NYSWaterGrants@efc.ny.gov


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Nominates
Rossana Rosado
as New York State Secretary of State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo nominates Rossana Rosado as New York State Secretary of State. To read the full press release visit: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-nominates-rossana-rosado-new-york-state-secretary-state


Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District
and the
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
present a new film

"Stormwater Pollution and Green Infrastructure Solutions"

The Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District and the NYSDEC have just wrapped-up production on an educational film entitled "Stormwater Pollution and Green Infrastructure Solutions". This film highlights stormwater runoff impacts throughout New York State and showcases several green infrastructure solutions to help mitigate the issues associated with stormwater runoff pollution.

Watch the film on YouTube (https://youtu.be/ATNy-vaIPXI?t=3s)
You can also visit the Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District to learn more about stormwater runoff pollution, what you can do to help these impacts, and to download free outreach materials.


Cornell University
Climate Change Seminar Series
Perspectives on the Climate Change Challenge

Free and Open to the Public

Spring 2016 - Mondays starting February 8th - May 9, 2016 (except for 2/15 and 3/28)
On Campus: BEE 2000, in 233 Plant Science Building
Webex Option available for Distance Participation: https://goo.gl/IwOa0y

This university-wide seminar provides important views on the critical issue of climate change, drawing from many perspectives and disciplines. Experts from both Cornell University and other institutions will present an overview of the science of climate change and climate change models, the implications for agriculture, ecosystems, and food systems, and provide important economic, ethical, and policy insights on the issue. The seminar is being organized and sponsored by the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, the Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture, and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. The seminar is free and open to the Cornell and Ithaca Community at large, and will be videotaped. There is a live WebEx for distance participation, and the WebEx presentations will be recorded as well. For More information, see: http://www.acsf.cornell.edu/climate2016.



North American Wetlands Conservation Act

Protecting, Restoring and Enhancing Wetland Habitats for Birds


North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants increase bird populations and wetland habitat, while supporting local economies and American traditions such as hunting, fishing, birdwatching, family farming, and cattle ranching. Wetlands protected by NAWCA provide valuable benefits such as flood control, reducing coastal erosion, improving water and air quality, and recharging groundwater. In the past two decades, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act has funded 2,553 projects totaling $1.4 billion in grants. More than 5,000 partners have contributed another $2.9 billion in matching funds to affect 30.7 million acres of habitat.
About the Grants Program
The NAWCA program provides matching grants to wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. There is a Standard and a Small Grants Program. Both are competitive grants programs and require that grant requests be matched by partner contributions at no less than a 1-to-1 ratio.

Grant applicants, learn how to apply.

Grant Deadlines: US Standard Grants, Cycle 2 - July 14, 2016; US Small Grants - November 3, 2016; Mexico Standard Grants, July 1, 2016; Canada Standard Grants, August 5, 2016.


Learn Oyster Gardening — And Help Rebuild A Way Of Life

A class to teach young people the art of oyster growing is about to begin in Islip at Great Atlantic Shellfish Farms. Register now! Create your own oyster garden. Learn the art of oyster cultivation, and maybe someday become a bayman. That would help to bring an industry — and a bay back!

Climate Smart Communities Certification Workbook:
A Tool for Tracking Accomplishments

New York's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Certification program provides local governments with a comprehensive framework to guide climate action efforts. Four levels of achievement recognize high-performing communities for their leadership: Certified, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Designed around the 10 CSC pledge elements, the rating system includes a wide variety of actions that reduce greenhouse gases, enhance resilience to a changing climate, and build a green economy.
Is your local government pursuing certification? With more than 130 certification actions to choose from, it's essential to stay organized. There is a newly revised version of the CSC Certification Workbook. This Excel-based tool helps local governments navigate the certification process, keep documentation organized, and perform an initial self-assessment to determine readiness for certification.
The CSC Certification Workbook is available for download as part of a package of materials related to certification; to access this zip file of materials, click this link: http://www.midhudsoncsc.org/documents/CSC_Certification_Scoring_Worksheet_Feb_2015.zip

Long Island Tidal Wetlands Trends Analysis Released

This extensive report by Cameron Engineering and Land Use Ecological Services for the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) details the changes in Long Island's coastal wetlands from the 1970's to the present.The purpose of the project was to quantify the magnitude of landscape-level changes in wetlands loss and changes in marsh condition within the Long Island Sound, Peconic and South Shore Estuaries including all or parts of Westchester, Bronx, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. It is intended for use by environmental managers, conservation advocates and elected officials across a variety of regulatory agencies, environmental organizations and governments.
It is available at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/5113.html

Feeding Bread to Wild Birds is Killing Them!
For many, feeding birds at ponds and parks is a cherished childhood memory; one they lovingly recreate for their children and grandchildren. Tragically, thousands of birds die annually due to a condition overwhelmingly caused by people who don’t know this beloved activity can be deadly. (More)

Governor Cuomo Announces $388 Million in Funding for Critical Coastal Resiliency and Sewer Expansion Project in Suffolk County

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, on September 13, 2015, announced $388 million in State and federal funding to expand sanitary sewer service to 8,075 parcels of land in Suffolk County which currently utilize on-site septic systems. This project, which has been approved the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, represents the first step in instituting extensive measures to mitigate flooding and septic system failure in Suffolk County caused by Superstorm Sandy. 

To read full Press Release visit:  https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-388-million-funding-critical-coastal-resiliency-and-sewer-expansion


The Great South Bay Project
Update Photos of the Breach at Old Inlet

The goal of the Great South Bay program is to gain a thorough understanding of the biogeochemistry of the Bay and its effect on pelagic and benthic communities.  Currently this effort is supported by the NY Department of State in which observations and models are combined in support of the development of an ecosystem based management approach to address the ecological problems besetting the Bay.  This webpage shows some of the hydrodynamic model results to date and presents physical observational data collected over the past  several years.  Currently, the hydrodynamic model is undergoing a major upgrade so as to deal more effectively with the complex topography of the western portions of the Bay.  The model results deal with one aspect of the Bay, that is the potential impact of a large breach in Fire Island.  The model is also being used to study the impact of tides and winds on the distribution and dispersal of passive tracers and plankton.   This page also presents much of the observational data from temperature and salinity sensors that have been deployed around the eastern portion of the Bay since 2004.  Since 2010 some of these instruments have been enhanced to measure sea level, chlorophyll and turbidity.  And since the middle of 2010 real-time data from the Smith Point bridge and a telemetering buoy south of Sayville have also become available.  All the observational data and latest information on the Fire Island breach are available below.

Visit Dr. Charles Flagg’s website.

Conditional Shellfishing Programs Resume in Nassau and Suffolk Counties

A conditional shellfishing program began on December 16, 2015 in the East Bay section of Hempstead Bay in the Town of Hempstead, in Nassau County, an area that is usually closed for the harvest of shellfish, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). A similar progam went into effect on December 11th in South Oyster Bay. (More)

Sea-level Rise Projection Meetings were held in Shirley and Freeport
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

To strengthen New York's preparedness for climate change, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently signed into law the Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA). CRRA requires the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and other State agencies to adopt official State sea level rise projections by January 1, 2016, to serve as the basis for State adaptation decisions and will be available for use by all decision makers.

The DEC held several sea level rise projection meetings and a webinar where they introduced CRRA and presented the scientific information being considered relative to the regulation establishing sea level rise projections. Participants had an opportunity to provide input for consideration.  Later in 2015 before the State adopts sea level rise projections, a draft rule will be made available for formal public comment.
Additional meeting information is available at


The Bill Contains $1.8 Million In Federal Funds For
Nassau Back Bay Feasibility Study.
The Back Bay Study Is A Critical Step To Help Prevent Future Storm Damage
In South Shore Communities Of Nassau County (more)


Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve
Coordinated Water Resources Monitoring Strategy Workshop
For Researchers, Water and Natural Resource Managers

Thursday May 28, 2015,Farmingdale State College

The New York Department of State and U.S. Geological Survey hosted a Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve (SSER) Coordinated Water Resources Monitoring Strategy (CWRMS) Workshop on May 28, 2015 at Farmingdale State College to identify past and current water quality and natural resource monitoring activities of Federal, State and local governments, academia, nonprofits, and community-based organizations.  Workshop participants identified current water and ecological monitoring efforts, monitoring data sources and gaps, and prioritized future monitoring needs. Topics included nutrient loading, stormwater runoff, climate change, saltwater intrusion, harmful algal blooms, wetlands loss, beach closures, and fish and shellfish health.

View the Workshop Flyer PDF file here.
Agenda and Presentations here

Working together we can achieve a cleaner estuary and help south shore communities become more resilient.


Water Quality Improvement Project Program

WQIP Round 12 Funding is Available!

Through the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative, DEC has made up to $35 million available to support water quality improvements through Round 12 of the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Grant Program. Funding is available for municipalities, soil and water conservation districts and non-profit organizations. The WQIP program is a competitive, reimbursement grant program that directs funds from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund to projects that reduce polluted runoff, improve water quality and restore habitat in New York's waterbodies. Grants awarded through the WQIP program can fund up to 85% of the total project cost for Wastewater Treatment Improvement projects or up to 75% of the total project cost for Non-Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control, Aquatic Habitat Restoration and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4). Full information is available at http://www.dec.ny.gov/pubs/4774.html


NY Rising Community Reconstruction program signs agreements with 12 Long Island subrecipients, as first step in implementation phase for projects.

New York, NY (March 3, 2015) – The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) today announced Long Island’s first 26 projects, totaling nearly $100 million, to be implemented through the NY Rising Community Reconstruction (NYRCR) Program—a grassroots undertaking that empowers localities to increase their physical, social and economic resilience following impacts from Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

The more than $700 million NYRCR Program has identified and finalized agreements with 12 Long Island subrecipients, who will execute the projects with support from New York State. The signing of the agreements is the first official step in bringing the proposals to fruition—with the State offering additional resources to promote the progress being made. More information



Input requested for New Comprehensive Management Plan
Implementation Status Report 2015
Final Notice

The Department of State and Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve (SSER) Office are preparing a new Implementation Status Report (ISR) documenting activities and projects that implement the SSER Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2014.

The ISR is an important component of documenting and evaluating accomplishments and can help steer future funding in the SSER.  The ISR also facilitates needed coordination with SSER partners and stakeholders to strengthen partnerships and facilitate public awareness regarding current SSER needs. Past ISRs are available for reference.

Please complete one ISR Project Tracking Form for each SSER activity or project your agency or organization has completed within the specified time period regardless of funding source. To enter project information, open the form using Adobe Acrobat and fill in each applicable data field. Save a copy of each completed form to your own computer as a backup.

Please submit all completed SSER ISR Project Tracking Forms to Lou.Siegel@dos.ny.gov. For assistance in completing the ISR Project Tracking Form, please feel free to contact Lou at 631-952-7903.

We look forward to receiving your information for inclusion in the 2015 ISR.  Thank you for your continued commitment to protect, restore and enhance the SSER.


Draft New York Ocean Action Plan Released for Comment

The New York Ocean Action Plan (OAP) is a coordinated and inclusive effort focused on improving the health of our ocean ecosystems and their capacity to provide sustainable benefits to New Yorkers. Together, scientists, resource managers, and a wide range of stakeholders will take stock of New York's ocean-related activities and programs. Through a ten-year action plan, the goal of the OAP is to achieve better-managed and healthier ocean ecosystems that will benefit people, communities, and the natural world. Grounded in short-term actions to reach long-term goals, the OAP will guide State government funding, research, management, outreach, and education choices.

Ocean Action Plan priorities will:

  • Restore seagrass protection to stabilize shoreline, reduce wave damage and provide spawning, nursery and foraging habitat for fish, shellfish, birds and sea turtles;
  • Promote economic growth, coastal development and human use of the ocean in a manner that is sustainable and consistent with maintaining ecosystem integrity;
  • Provide information and support tools, such as the Geographic Information Gateway, to direct ocean and coastal development in ways that will facilitate economic growth and environmental protection;
  • Reduce bycatch—fish and other marine life caught inadvertently during commercial fishing and thrown back dead; and
  • Increase resilience of ocean resources and communities in preparation for sea level rise and other climate change impacts

The corresponding long-term objectives and specific actions outlined in the OAP were developed through a stakeholder process with a diverse array of stakeholders, many of whom we would expect to be partners and take the lead in implementing the identified actions.

The draft Ocean Action Plan (PDF, 1.96 MB) is also available by writing to the address below or calling 631-444-0430.

Written comments regarding this proposed Ocean Action Plan were accepted until March 9, 2015.

The DEC and DOS are coordinating the development of the OAP. For more information please contact Debra Abercrombie atdebra.abercrombie@dec.ny.gov or 631-444-0468 or Gregory Capobianco at gregory.capobianco@dos.ny.gov or 518-474-8811.


Governor Cuomo Announces Actions to Strengthen Coastal Resiliency
Against Future Storms on Long Island

$383 Million for Suffolk County Sewer Projects to Reduce Harmful Nitrogen Pollution, Which Damages Natural Coastal Defenses Against Severe Storms and Flooding State to Advance $97 Million to Nassau County to Help Expedite Upgrades to Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant State Establishing Center for Clean Water Technology at Stony Brook University

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced on October 28, 2014, a series of actions to bolster coastal resiliency against future storms on Long Island by improving local water quality and reducing harmful nitrogen pollution. Superstorm Sandy significantly impacted Long Island’s wastewater treatment facilities and highlighted how vulnerable the region’s bays and salt marshes are to excessive nitrogen pollution. To help address these recovery needs, Governor Cuomo announced the State has identified $383 million in funding for proposed sewer projects in Suffolk County and that the State will advance $97 million to Nassau County for upgrades to the Bay Park sewage treatment plant.

To help further ensure that the best available science and best practices exist to support resiliency and water quality improvement efforts, Governor Cuomo also announced the establishment of the New York State Center for Clean Water Technology at Stony Brook University – initially tasked with developing and commercializing the next generation of nitrogen removal technology for on-site septic systems and cesspools. http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/10282014-coastal-resiliency-long-island

These actions largely based upon the newly released State report, "Coastal Resiliency and Water Quality in Nassau and Suffolk Counties - Recommended Actions and a Proposed Path Forward"


Local Innovative Program Working to Sustain NY's Resources and Strengthen
the Economy Receives NYS Environmental Excellence Award

Congratulations to Southampton Advocates for the Village Environment's (SAVE) (Suffolk County) for receiving a 2013 New York State Environmental Excellence Award. This small, volunteer committee in the Village of Southampton led an effort to enact the Reusable Shopping Bag Program -- the first municipal program to prohibit single-use, plastic, grocery-sized shopping bags. The Village of Southampton has set an example for municipalities and businesses across New York. Through a successful campaign that enlisted support from retailers and the entire village community, the village's ordinance has achieved a 98 percent compliance rate by retailers, restaurants and stores, which translates into the elimination of at least 110,000 plastic shopping bags annually. The streets and beaches of the Village of Southampton are no longer littered with plastic bags, and the quality of the local marine waters has improved significantly.



New York State Department of State releases the
New York Offshore Atlantic Ocean Study

The New York State Department of State (NYSDOS) has released a comprehensive study on the physical, biological, wildlife and geographic characteristics of the Atlantic Ocean impacting New Yorkers. The results of the New York Offshore Atlantic Ocean Study will lay the groundwork for selecting offshore areas where wind development could be most suitable and appropriate and will serve to help protect habitats important to the environmental health and recreational and tourism priorities of coastal communities as well as sustaining New York’s ocean-based industries.

NYSDOS will provide the ability to view all the geographic data from the study and supporting documents, and any new data that becomes available, on a publicly-accessible online data portal currently under development. The NYSDOS press release, with links to the study and supporting documents, can be accessed at:  http://www.dos.ny.gov/press/2013/atlantic7-10.html


NYS Funding - $20 Million in Grants
Available to Sandy-Impacted Fishing Industry

$20 million is available to NYS recreational and commercial fishing businesses affected by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee through the State’s recently approved Coastal Fishing Industry Grant Program.  Under the program, eligible businesses will be able to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to cover uncompensated losses.  The funding is part of the State’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Action Plan which was approved by the federal government in April 2013.

With peak fishing season arriving, and as the fishing industry in New York supports thousands of local jobs and generates billions in economic activity, Governor Cuomo has directed the new federal funds to support this critical industry.

Fishing businesses can find application instructions at the following link:

Or by calling 1-855-NYS-SANDY.

The Governor’s full press release can be accessed at:



Governor Cuomo and HUD Announce Approval of New York State's
Disaster Recovery Action Plan

$1.7 billion to help communities in Empire State to rebuild from Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today (April 26, 2013) announced federal approval of New York State’s recovery action plan to help struggling homeowners and businesses following Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. Funded through HUD's Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG – DR) program, New York State’s recovery action plan calls for a combined $1.7 billion investment in a variety of housing, infrastructure and business recovery activities.   To read the full press release:  http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/04262013Disaster-Recovery-Action-Plan

For the NY Rising, Recovery Resource Center website and to apply for funding:   http://www.nysandyhelp.ny.gov/

For more information and to read the NYS Action Plan:   http://www.nyshcr.org/Press/ActionPlan/


South Shore Estuary Reserve Council Meeting
June 28, 2012
PowerPoint Presentations Available

The powerpoint presentations on the Town of Islip Great Cove Watershed Plan and the progress of the
Town of Hempstead EPF funded projects related to the Western Bays LWRP process
are both
available by clicking on the highlighted links.


Great South Bay Ecosystem-based Management Plan

The Great South Bay Ecosystem-based Management Plan (Plan) has been completed and is now available to download. The Nature Conservancy prepared the Plan for the NYS Department of State to serve as a  guide for Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) planning in the Great South Bay.  The Plan was developed as part of a demonstration project pursuant to the 2006 New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act (Act).  The Act calls for an EBM approach to development and preservation activities in order to safeguard the health and sustainability of New York’s Ocean and Great Lakes ecosystems.

The Plan is an important tool in the efforts to amend the South Shore Estuary Reserve Comprehensive Management Plan and the New York State Coastal Management Plan.



The annual Alewife monitoring survey

Each year volunteers monitor the run of these important fish which migrate from salt to fresh water in the Spring. Get involved in the 2016 monitoring survey which will begin on April 1st. for the season. Workshops now forming. more


Great South Bay Hard Clam Restoration Working Group Final Report Available

The Great South Bay Hard Clam Restoration Working Group, consisting of a multi-government, agency and stakeholder team, was convened in 2009. The Working Group fosters coordination and management of efforts to advance hard clam restoration by Suffolk County and the towns of Babylon, Brookhaven, Islip, as well as The Nature Conservancy. The final report of this group, containing the long term management recommendations for hard clam restoration in the Great South Bay, is now available in the reports section of their website. www.GSBclams.org



ClimAID Report Released

On November 17, 2011, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) released Responding to Climate Change in New York State: The ClimAID Integrated Assessment for Effective Climate Change Adaptation, prepared by Columbia University, the City University of New York, and Cornell University.  

The ClimAID assessment provides detailed information on climate change impacts and adaptation for eight sectors in New York State:  water resources, coastal zones, ecosystems, agriculture, energy, transportation, telecommunications and public health.  Climate trends and future projections were developed for seven regions across the state. 

The report can be downloaded at:    http://nyserda.ny.gov/Publications/Research-and-Development/Environmental/EMEP-Publications/Response-to-Climate-Change-in-New-York.aspx.


South Shore Estuary Reserve Council Meeting
March 24, 2011
PowerPoint Presentations Available

Presentations on Water Quality and Climate Change made at the March 24, 2011
South Shore Estuary Reserve Council meeting in Hauppauge, New York are available to download here. 
Questions on the presentations can be directed to


The New York State Sea Level Rise Task Force
Final Report Available

On December 31, 2010, the New York State Sea Level Rise Task Force delivered its report to the New York State Legislature. Created in 2007 by the State Legislature, the 14 member task force assessed impacts to the state's coastlines from rising seas and recommended protective and adaptive measures. The New York State Department of State served on the task force.
The report is available at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/administration_pdf/slrtffinalrep.pdf information on the New York State Sea Level Task Force can be found at:http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/45202.html.


South Shore Estuary Reserve Council Meeting
September 28, 2010
PowerPoint Presentations Available

Six power point presentations on issues relevant to the development of the South Shore Estuary amendment to the New York State Coastal Management Program were made at the September 28, 2010 South Shore Estuary Reserve Council meeting in Hauppauge, New York. The presentations are available to download here.  Questions on the SSE Amendment and/or the presentations can be directed to teshanna.brunner@dos.state.ny.us


Planning for Dredged Material Management in the South Shore Estuary Reserve
Final Reports Available

The New York State Department of State retained the consultant Woods Hole Group to compile existing information on dredging in the South Shore Estuary Reserve (SSER) as a preliminary step to a possible Dredged Material Management Plan. With the assistance of a Project Advisory Committee representing SSER stakeholders, the reports containing this information and recommendations for improving dredging practices have been completed. This information is available for use by the SSER Council members and other stakeholders to improve administration of dredging, including coordination of permit information and beneficial use or evaluation of disposal options for dredged material. The public's participation in the review of the information was facilitated by three public meetings held in Brookhaven, West Sayville and Point Lookout in March 2010.


President Signs Executive Order
Stewardship of Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes

On Monday, July 19, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the National Ocean Council Executive Order, establishing a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes. The order also creates a National Ocean Council to strengthen ocean governance and coordination and adopts many of the recommendations made by the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force appointed by the President in June 2009. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the policy sets the country on a path toward comprehensive planning for the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean and provides a foundation for achieving and maintaining clean beaches, abundant seafood and wildlife, a robust economy and jobs and recreational opportunities from our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes areas.


Town of Oyster Bay Completes Studies to Implement the
SSER Comprehensive Management Plan

This project consisted of 5 components. These are 1) Massapequa Creek Watershed Management and Corridor Restoration Plan, 2) South Oyster Bay Hard Clam Population Study, 3) Waterfront Development Plan, 4) Estuary Public Use and Tourism Study, and 5) Open Space Preservation Plan. These reports address CMP goals to reduce nonpoint source pollution; increase harvest levels of hard clams and other estuarine shellfish species; protect and restore coastal habitats; preserve open space; increase public use of the estuary and expand tourism; and sustain water dependent use. All of the components to this project have been completed and approved by DOS and are available here.


Town of Hempstead Working to Reestablish Native Oyster Population

Baby Oysters, called spat, on shells that will be placed in the bay.

Town staff place bags of shells in the bay to reestablish reefs, increase the oyster population, and prevent marsh erosion.

Growth on one of the experimental oyster reefs in November 2010 showing from left to right: Placement of shell containing bags in relation to the marsh; Clutch of oysters bursting through their bags; One year oysters with quarter for size reference.


The Town of Hempstead is conducting a multi-year project to encourage the growth of oyster reefs in the Hempstead bays. The goal is to expand shellfishing opportunities, improve water quality, and reduce marsh erosion. As filter feeders, oysters improve water quality by taking in water and filtering it. The water they expel back into the bay is cleaner than the water they take in. Oyster reefs prevent marsh erosion by building up around marsh edges, which holds plants and sediment place. The project is supported by a grant awarded to the town by the New York Department of State through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund.


First Fish Ladder in Nassau County Section of Estuary

The first permanent fish ladder in the Nassau County section of the Estuary opened for the 2010 season. Massapequa Creek is part of the alewife monitoring program being coordinated by Seatuck Environmental Association. The ladder was installed as a cooperative effort of Nassau County, NOAA, and the Fish and Wildlife Service as a result of a superfund site settlement agreement. It is designed to facilitate the movement upstream of diadromous fish such as alewives, trout and eels. Join our alewife monitoring efforts. The picture to the left shows the housing for the the electronic fish counter which was added for the 2011 spring count. It along with temperature sensors at both the salt and fresh ends of the ladder were installed and maintained by Seatuck. Preliminary data for 2011 included visual sitings of alewives and over 100 upstream records on the counter. As part of this project several hundred alewives were moved from the Peconic river in Riverhead to Massapequa in March of 2012. (video) If you would like to see the ladder it is easily accessible just east of Ocean Avenue on Merrick Road in Massapequa. Video with Byron Young talking about the Carll's River Ladder established in 2013 and describing the life cycle of the Alewife

South Shore Estuary Vessel No Discharge Zone Approved

An application to declare the bays of the Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve (Reserve) a Vessel No Discharge Zone (NDZ) under the federal Clean Water Act has been approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Planning and preparation for this action, included as recommendations of the Reserve Comprehensive Management Plan, were key steps in the effort to reduce water quality impairments throughout the south shore bays and navigable waters of the Reserve. Led by the Baykeeper organization, the NDZ designation comes as the result of a two year effort. The significant accomplishment to realize the NDZ designation was the result of cooperation and successful partnerships between Reserve local governments state agencies, and diverse estuary stakeholder groups who shared a common goal of improving Reserve water quality.   

“As chairperson of the Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Council, I applaud the work of the state agencies and the Peconic Baykeeper that led to the designation of the estuarine bays in the Reserve as a Vessel Waste No- Discharge Zone. The designation is a significant step towards a healthier ecosystem and cleaner water in the Reserve. It bolsters the investment and efforts of the New York State Department of State and its partners on the Reserve Council to improve the water quality of the South Shore bays and their tributaries, to protect the habitats for the bays’ aquatic species, and to enhance the region’s economy and maritime heritage.” said New York Secretary of State Lorraine Cortes-Vasquez.

The relatively calm waters of the Reserve support many commercial and recreational activities, including boating, fishing, and tourism. Boat wastewater discharges can impair water quality and wildlife habitat.  The Reserve NDZ designation will prohibit discharging of any wastes from marine sanitation devices into Reserve waters, and will encourage boater use of land based and/or mobile vessel pump-out facilities.

Information about Vessel No Discharge Zones.

Reserve pump out facilities


Using Nature's Power to Restore Shellfish in the Hempstead Bays

The Town of Hempstead recently dedicated its new "green" Shellfish nursery utilizing the power of the sun and wind to operate its expanded FLUPSY (Floating Upweller System) for the grow out of juvenile shellfish. The Town anticipates the new system will expand annual grow out capacity by 800% enabling accelerated restoration of shellfish populations for conservation purposes and support of the traditional shellfish industry. As filter feeders, shellfish play a critical role in maintaining estuary water quality. The project is the first of its kind in the Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve (Reserve) and will serve as an important example for other Reserve partners who are involved in shellfish restoration activities.
The FLUPSY system currently in operation inside the hatchery building which delivers a constant flow of water to the shellfish being held in the circular tanks. The new, moveable barge showing the array of solar panels and the unique, energy efficient paddlewheel used to move large volumes of water over the clams which are placed in the FLUPSY units below the floor grating.
Stewards turn out for Fall Beach Cleanups
Volunteers follow a protocol devised by the Ocean Conservancy for the International Coastal Cleanup held each September since 1986. The cleanups are coordinated and debris collection data are compiled by the American Littoral Society. Included among many stewards of the SSER are members of general public, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the New York State Marine Education Association, Environmental Resource Management (ERM) Foundation, local boy and girl scout troops, and high school and college students.
To find out more about beach cleanups contact:
The American Littoral Society.
Volunteers keep records of all materials collected
All materials which are collected are then weighed

A total of 661 pounds of marine debris was collected by over 75 Reserve stakeholders at Jones Beach on this day


Watershed Plan for Beaver Dam Creek


Mouth of Beaver Dam Creek flowing into Great South Bay

A watershed management plan has been completed for the Beaver Dam Creek in the Town of Brookhaven. The plan was prepared for the New York State Department of State and the Reserve Council with the assistance of an advisory committee of local government, community groups and watershed residents. Beaver Dam Creek is an important tributary flowing into the Great South Bay region of the South Shore Estuary Reserve and has been the focus of successful partnership based efforts to restore tidal wetlands and improve water quality. The new plan will serve as a framework for local governments, state agencies, watershed groups and residents to take specific recommended actions to restore water quality and improve living resource habitat consistent with the South Shore Estuary Reserve Comprehensive Management Plan. Click to view the full Beaver Dam Creek Watershed Management Plan.

Operation SPLASH

Operation SPLASH (Stop Polluting, Littering And Save Harbors) now has six vessels docked in Freeport, Wantagh and Massapequa which are used by SPLASH volunteers to patrol local waterways and clean up the bays and wetlands in the western portion of the Reserve. For more information: www.operationsplash.org






Watershed Planning Multimedia Informational Packages Available
The New York Department of State, in partnership with the Department of Environmental Conservation, has prepared a watershed planning multimedia informational package to meet the growing demand for assistance in watershed planning. It represents an integrated, comprehensive approach to watershed planning that relies on sound science and community consensus to set a shared vision for the future, identify problems, find solutions, and create an action strategy to improve water quality.  Watershed Plans: Protecting and Restoring Water Quality summarizes this approach to help characterize watersheds, assess water quality and natural resources, evaluate local controls and practices, develop actions and recommendations, and create implementation strategies.  The guidebook builds on a shared approach to watershed management as a means to reduce nonpoint source pollution and protect water resources.  It presents a flexible step-wise approach to watershed planning and implementation that highlights local and regional successes in a series of case studies across New York State.  The video was designed to encourage local governments and groups to form networks and strengthen partnerships with agencies and educational institutions, to benefit from the wealth of expertise available to protect and restore shared water resources.  For more information contact the Department of State website, Office of Planning and Development or 518-474-6000.

The SSER Office Has Moved.....

New Mailing address: Directions
New York State Department of State
South Shore Estuary Reserve Office

250 Veterans Memorial Highway
2nd Floor, Room 2A15
Hauppauge, New York 11788-5519
main # 516-470-BAYS (2297), Fax # 631-952-7902 sser@dos.ny.gov
SSER Staff:
Sherry Forgash: 631-952-7901 Sherry.Forgash@dos.ny.gov
Lou Siegel: 631-952-7903 Lou.Siegel@dos.ny.gov


More Reserve News...

Going Coastal, Has a map and iphone app for pumpout stations/boats for Long Island which those in the SSER http://www.goingcoastal.org/Maps/Entries/2012/3/30_Long_Island_Pumpout_Map.html

New laws affect phosphorus in the environment. More

Water Temperature, Tides, and other live and historic data about the SSER is available here


The invasive Giant Hogweed plant, can cause blisters and blindness on contact. Your assistance is requested to report sightings to 845-256-3111. Callers are asked to provide photos and site information, but avoid touching the plant. More

National - NOAA Sets $15 Fee for the National Saltwater Angler Registry

NOAA announced the fee for registering with the National Saltwater Angler Registry will be $15 as of Jan. 1, 2011. The good news is that anglers in 22 of 24 coastal states, including New York, do not need to register or pay a fee since those states have agreements to share fishing license or registry information with NOAA for data collection purposes. New York has an agreement with NOAA, however, you must buy a NYS salt water fishing license to fish in NYS’s marine and coastal districts.http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/54950.html For recreational fishermen in Hawaii, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who are required to register, there's still time to register for free. Registration is free for those who sign up or renew their registrations before the end of the year. For more information or to register, go online at www.CountMyFish.noaa.gov or call toll-free at (888) 674-7411.


Former Citizens Advisory Committee Member Linda Freilich was named as the Sierran of the 2011 Year by the Long Island Chapter of Sierra Club for her work monitoring the environment with the Water Sentinels Program. Check it out for citizen science opportunity.

Here's something else to keep an eye out for when you're out in the field, or your backyard, this year. Cornell University is conducting the Lost Ladybug Project, focusing on documenting the distributions of all ladybugs, but especially our rare natives. All this project requires is for you to take photos of ladybugs you encounter, record some simple information, and upload the photos. Visit www.lostladybug.org to learn more.

The ospreys have returned! Many communities have encouraged the nesting of these beautiful fish hawks by constructing platforms which attract breeding pairs each spring. Several nests are found along route 27A in Oakdale, one is just south of Cedar Beach along the State boat channel and a third can be found at the Town of Hempstead, Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area. Many birds still prefer to select their own site such as the pair that has been nesting in one of the chimneys at Dowling College and another pair that chose a more natural location at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum along the Connetquot River. More about ospreys.
The Long Island River Otter Project has recently completed a report titled "The Status and Distribution of River Otter (Lontra canadensis) on Long Island, New York". The report documents otter sightings and signs of otter populations on Long Island and discusses possibilities for improving species recovery. Despite its common name, the River Otter inhabits lakes, ponds, swamps and marshes as well as rivers. It is also found in coastal areas, including the saline waters of tidal estuaries such as the bays of the South Shore Estuary Reserve. For more information about otters, view this flyer (.pdf) or contact Mike Bottini via email or by calling 631-267-5228.
The New York Ocean and Great Lakes Atlas provides a wide variety of environmental, social, and economic data for New York State and the South Shore Estuary Reserve! More
Have you or your group participated in a stewardship activity that helps to further the SSER Comprehensive Management Plan? See past recipients of our Preserve the Reserve Stewardship Certificates and application procedures. More

Long Island Traditions has announced the launch of the "South Shore portal" web site.  The site examines the cultural history and contemporary traditions of Long Island's south shore estuary, stretching from Atlantic Beach to Hampton Bays.  Learn about the maritime architecture, ranging from bay houses and bungalows to boatyards and hotels.  See what is in your home town.  Listen to stories of hurricanes and rum runners.  Learn how to document your community's cultural resources.  Add your own story to the memories page.  And learn what baymen do for a living.  All this and more!
Just click here and share your thoughts.

The New York State Marine Education Association (NYSMEA,) under a grant from the Environmental Resource Management (ERM) Group Foundation would like to assist classes or groups in getting started with stewardship activities in the reserve. More
Learn about rivers and streams in the Reserve: Visit the Reserve Tributaries page!

We would like to help you reach more people!
If you are an historic or environmental resource relevant to the South Shore Estuary, add your name to our Directory of Educational Resources! More

Looking for a chance to get involved in the Reserve? Want to let others know of ways to get involved?
Check out the Stewardship Opportunities page!


in the


Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center
Jones Beach State Park

Fire Island National Seashore

South Shore Bays
Safe Boating America
Association of Marine Trade Industries






South Shore Estuary Reserve Office
250 veterans Memorial Highway, 2nd Floor • Hauppauge, New York 11788• Phone: (516) 470-BAYS • Fax: (631) 952-7902 • sser@dos.ny.gov