New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today the inaugural Long Island Estuary Day to be hosted by the South Shore Estuary Reserve, Peconic Estuary Program and Long Island Sound Study.
The event will be held Saturday, September 15, 2018 from 9:30am-2:00pm at the Seatuck Environmental Association, located at 550 S. Bay Avenue in Islip. This event is free and open to the public.
The event will kick off National Estuaries Week and celebrate the beauty and natural resources of Long Island’s important estuaries.
National Estuaries Week is a nationwide celebration of our bays and estuaries and the benefits they provide local communities. Dozens of organizations throughout the country host events to celebrate National Estuaries Week. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, National Estuaries Week takes place September 15th through the 22nd. Restore America’s Estuaries, the Association of National Estuary Programs and the National Estuarine Research Reserves Association partner together to promote National Estuaries Week on a broad scale.
New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, Chair of the South Shore Estuary Reserve Council, said, “Long Island’s shores and waterways are among New York’s many treasures, and it should be celebrated as such. This inaugural event is a great way for families across the region to learn more about the local environment and how to protect it for generations to come.”
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “The inaugural Long Island Estuary Day is an excellent opportunity to showcase the beauty of New York’s preeminent estuaries and highlight the State’s ongoing efforts to preserve and protect the health of these abundant natural resources and recognize their role in bolstering local economies. I encourage everyone living in Long Island’s magnificent watersheds to enjoy this fun-filled event and learn how to better protect and sustain this resource for future generations.”
EPA Regional Administrator Peter Lopez said, “Long Island is home to many important estuaries, one of the most productive habitats on the planet. EPA is proud to partner with New York State and Long Island communities to highlight what government and citizens can do to reduce nitrogen and other pollutants to improve water quality while protecting the recreational and commercial value of the Island’s waters.”
Director of the Peconic Estuary Program Joyce Novak said, “The Peconic Estuary Program is delighted to be a part of this important event which will showcase the important work being carried out by the estuary programs. Continual coordination between the three Long Island programs to communicate the major water quality issues facing Long Island coastal waters and the on-going development of solutions to these issues is of the utmost importance to the future of these waterbodies and Long Island communities. We are grateful to Seatuck Environmental Association for hosting this event and we are looking forward to engaging with the public and our partners on what is sure to be a wonderful family event!”
The theme of this year’s event is nitrogen pollution. Elevated nitrogen causes degraded water quality, which contributes to degradation of important habitats such as eelgrass beds, saltmarshes, beach closures, harmful algal blooms, fish kills and restrictions on shellfish harvests. The September 15 event will educate the public about what they can do to help keep estuaries healthy, such as upgrading septic systems, using environmentally-friendly lawn care techniques and planting more native species.
A variety of family-friendly activities will take place throughout the day, including education lectures, hands-on workshops, hikes, crafts, and an organized beach cleanup at the Town of Islip beach at the end of S. Bay Avenue. Organizations participating in this event include The Nature Conservancy, Long Island Native Plant Initiative, Long Island Invasive Species Awareness Area, Suffolk County and Seatuck Environmental Association.
Register online for the event and to sign up for specific activities and workshops. For social media posts please use #EstuaryDay
Formed in 1993, the Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Act established the Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve (Reserve). The Reserve is administered by the New York State Department of State in cooperation with the Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Council (Council) and the Citizen Advisory Committee comprised of State and local governments, non-profit and academic organizations and other local stakeholders.
The Peconic Estuary received designation as an “Estuary of National Significance” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992, and the Peconic Estuary Program, a collaborative partnership of local, state, and federal governments, citizens, environmental groups, businesses, industries, and academic institutions, was established. The Peconic Estuary Program is one of 28 National Estuary Programs around the country supported by the U.S. EPA's Clean Water Act.
The Long Island Sound Study was formed by Connecticut and New York EPA in 1985. This is a bi-state partnership consisting of federal and state agencies, user groups, organizations and individuals dedicated to nitrogen reduction, habitat restoration, public involvement and education, and water quality monitoring.