Long Island Shellfish Restoration Project

 
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Long Island Shellfish Restoration Project

On September 6, 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a $10.4 million effort to improve Long Island's water quality and bolster the economies and resiliency of coastal communities by restoring native shellfish populations to coastal waters. To restore shellfish, New York State is establishing five new sanctuary sites in Suffolk and Nassau counties to transplant seeded clams and oysters and expanding public shellfish hatcheries in the two counties through a dedicated grant program. 

For more information, follow this link to the Governor’s announcement: http://on.ny.gov/2eGbPcF

 Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s role is to spawn and grow approximately 179 million shellfish over a two year period.  After grow-out in floating nurseries, the shellfish will be planted in designated sanctuary sites in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Consistent with our mission, we will involve the public in this effort through educational and volunteer opportunities. 

Project Key Components:

  1. Expansion of shellfish hatchery to satisfy shellfish production targets
  2. Support the Shinnecock Tribal Nation in producing spat-on-shell
  3. Conduct project outreach and education to adult volunteers, students, and nursery site hosts
  4. Produce all shellfish necessary to satisfy project targets for:
    1. Sanctuaries
      • Production of approximately 115 million seed clams
      • Production of approximately 35.9 million spat-on-shell oysters
      • Production of approximately 20 million oyster eyed larvae
    2. Identify and manage nursery sites for deployment of approximately 73 Floating Upwelling Systems (FLUPSYs)
      •  Grow out shellfish to optimal size for planting in sanctuary sites
      • Plant shellfish at designated sanctuary sites (5 sanctuary sites)

Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program &
The Long Island Shellfish Restoration Project

As part of the Governors announcement of $10.4 million to improve Long Island's water quality and bolster the economies and resiliency of coastal communities by restoring native shellfish populations to coastal waters, New York State is investing $5.25 million in Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County (CCE) to expand our existing public shellfish hatcheries, and to plant shellfish at sanctuary sites. Marinas located in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties will also partner with CCE to host floating nurseries. 

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County Mission Statement:

Our waters are an integral part of life for us, making Long Island a desirable place to live. The Marine Program, which became part of CCE in 1985, is known and respected nationally and internationally. Its mission is to protect our waters, providing a clean environment for our fish, fowl, and plants.

At Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, our researchers and educators are busy working to inform Long Islanders how we can each do our part to safeguard our environment. Projects have been designed to bring back our once thriving eelgrass and shellfish populations, ensure our commercial fishing industry continues to thrive while limiting bycatch, provide public education about environmental consequences of storm water runoff, and introduce our young people to marine sciences and marine life on Long Island.

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