Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program’s
SAG HARBOR/SHELTER ISLAND
BACK TO THE BAYS STEWARDSHIP SITE
Main Beach Surf + Sport's Race for the Bays & The Great Peconic Race
2016 SUMMARY REPORT PREPARED BY:
In early 2016, Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine
Program was selected as the beneficiary of proceeds
from the Great Peconic Race. To ensure projects were
able to get underway in 2016, initial underwriting
support was provided by a private donor to kick start the
creation of a Back to the Bays Stewardship Site in the Sag
Harbor/Shelter Island area. This site combines
numerous water quality improvement-based projects
designed to increase the number of filter feeding
shellfish in these waters, increase the amount of essential
eelgrass habitat availability in the area, and engage the
public in these stewardship based projects. The
following report summarizes the activities conducted at
the Sag Harbor Back to the Bays Stewardship site in 2016.
BAY SCALLOP SPAWNER SANCTUARY
A site suitability analysis was conducted by CCE’s Bay
Scallop Restoration Team to determine where best to
establish a new bay scallop spawner sanctuary.
Necessary permissions were obtained by NYSDEC to
conduct this restoration activity, and then on May 18,
2016 with the help of several members of the paddling
community, 5,000 adult bay scallops were free planted
off of Havens Beach. The increase in concentration
of scallops in this area will allow for a higher likelihood
of reproductive success.
EELGRASS HABITAT RESTORATION
Eelgrass restoration activities were undertaken in Sag
Harbor Bay by CCE’s Marine Meadows Team. Several
sites were tested for suitability to support future larger
scale plantings. Over 2,000 eelgrass shoots were
assembled into planting units with the assistance of
participants of the Race for the Bays and Great Peconic
Race. They were then planted by divers at 4 locations.
The “Shelter Island Shoal” site proved to be the most
suitable location, and the final size of the patch created
through these efforts was approximately 130 sq. ft.. Now
that an appropriate receiving area has been identified we
hope to increase the scale of planting here in 2017.
HARD CLAM SEEDING
The resources made available for the hard clam seeding
component of the project allowed for 10,000 seed clams
to be produced in our shellfish hatchery in Southold.
Proper permissions were obtained and these juvenile
seed clams were brought to the Great Peconic Race on
September 10th and broadcast into the waters off of
Wades Beach after the race.
OYSTER BED DEPLOYMENT
Site scouting field outings occurred in September-
October 2016, followed by final regulatory approval
meetings and finalization of project design. On
November 2, 2016 eight shell bags, with approximately
2,000 oysters each were put out near the breakwater. The
shells/live oysters create habitat, and will spawn next
summer and provide an appropriate surface for larvae to
set on. Larvae will either set near the parents, on the
breakwater rocks, or they could wind up miles
away. Either way the oyster population enhancement
made possible through this aspect of the project is
significant, and we hope to build upon the number of
shell bags at this new oyster bed site next year.
Funding for this effort was made possible by:
The Great Peconic Race
Main Beach Surf + Sport's Race for the Bays
For more information, contact Kimberly Barbour at
[email protected] or 631-727-7850 ext 329.
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