Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, has announced grants totaling $3 million from the Laurie Landeau and Simons foundations to launch a program aimed at restoring the water quality and fisheries of Shinnecock Bay, on the south shore of Long Island.
Under the five-year Shinnecock Bay Restoration program, a team of faculty and staff from Stony Brook's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences led by marine scientist Christopher Gobler and biologist Ellen Pikitch will work to restock shellfish, expand existing eelgrass beds, and harvest seaweeds; monitor restoration efforts; and share the results with stakeholders and the public. Since 2010, SBU scientists have been studying declining water quality, shellfish populations, and seagrass habitats in the bay complex, as well as ways to reverse the trends and improve the ecological condition of the bay.
The easternmost lagoon of Long Island's south shore estuarine system, Shinnecock Bay comprises nine thousand acres of open water, salt marshes, and intertidal flats and is home to a variety of fish, shellfish, and waterfowl.
"This generous gift from the Landeau Foundation and the matching funds from the Simons Foundation will help restore Shinnecock Bay to the healthy and productive state it once enjoyed and, ultimately, serve as template for similar projects worldwide," said SBU president Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. "We hope that it will also serve as a catalyst for additional gifts for this project from those who share a vision for the restoration of such vital marine estuaries."