Long Island Shellfish Restoration Project

Governor Cuomo announces the LI Shellfish Restoration Project

Front left to right: CCE Marine Program Director Chris Pickerell; NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo; Suffolk County Executive, Steve Bellone.

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 )