GOOSE CREEK BAY FOR BLOG

ARE THE BAYS STILL DROWNING?

Evidence in Shinnecock Bay shows how clams can restore the bay.

WHY I WROTE THE DROWNING BAY

I started writing The Drowning Bay in 2012 when, according to the Southhampton Press, "the western lobe of Sinnecock Bay was an ecological desert, barren of shellfish and seagrass, and beset by annual 'brown tide' algal blooms that were the densest ever recorded, choking out any efforts by marine life to establish itself."

And the state of Peconic Bay was worse. So, this was the state of disgrace on which my novel was based.
However, there is good news:
Shinnecock Bay is now producing 1,700% more clams! This is ten times more than the Great South Bay, which is ten times larger.

Geoffrey Wells

This amazing achievement was announced by Dr. Christopher Gobler, one of the professors at the Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmosphere Sciences who authored a recent paper on this progress. “When we began this program, Great South Bay was the greatest hard clam fishery in New York State, and Shinnecock Bay, because it is 10 times smaller, was always a fraction of the harvest in Great South Bay. Today, the landings of hard clams in Shinnecock Bay exceed the landings in Great South Bay, despite it being 10 percent of its size.”

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The ironic placement of an adjacent article in the Southhampton Press was less optimistic. Scientists are studying yet another die-off of scallops this season in Peconic Bay. Whether this is because of schools of cownosed rays, or water temperatures, other parasites, salinity or dissolved oxygen levels, the point is it is all being scientifically assessed at Stony Brook University.  

SIMILARLY…

Home owners on the water now have several options to participate in the health of the Bay, through The Living Shoreline Project.

THIS ECOLOGICAL SUCCESS STORY IS BEING REPLICATED IN THE LIVING SHORELINE PROJECT.

The proposed Living Shoreline Demonstration Project is a cooperative arrangement between the Peconic Estuary Program and Cornell University Cooperative Extension (CCE) to provide options in place of full-scale bulkheads and similar hardened structures that protect residential shorelines. The benefits of living shoreline techniques over traditional shoreline hardening methods include lower installation and maintenance costs, maintaining/creating natural salt marsh habitat, adaptability to natural forces and sea level rise, and maintaining/creating the natural shoreline aesthetic. The goal of this project is to create centralized location where local and regional government agencies (e.g., Town Trustees and NYSDEC) can direct the public to view and learn about alternatives to traditional shoreline hardening methods.

CONCLUSION:
WITH SCIENCE, DETERMINATION, AND COMMUNICATION THESE CHALLENGES CAN BE MET!

Observation:
Climate change HAS happened.
Now we must become the adaptation species.

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