Protecting & Restoring Long Island's Peconic Bays


Protecting and restoring the Peconic Estuary and its watershed.

The Peconic Estuary Partnership (PEP) is a National Estuary Program that acts as a backbone organization, bringing together partners from different sectors around common goals. PEP staff and our partners support monitoring, research, collaboration and education to address priority issues within the Peconic Estuary Watershed. PEP acts as a bridge at the boundary between science and policy, and ensures that an informed citizenry, along with all other stakeholders, have a voice in the decision-making process.

Our mission is to protect and restore the Peconic Estuary and its watershed.

Entering the year 2020, PEP formally changed its name from the Peconic Estuary Program to the Peconic Estuary Partnership to capture the strong partnership that has always been dedicated to restoring clean water, protecting and enhancing vibrant ecosystems, and communicating sound science for nature-based coastal planning in the Peconic Estuary and its watershed.


Monitoring is an integral part of the Peconic Estuary Partnership because it allows us to understand the status of the system, and to evaluate the impacts of management activities.  Guided by the PEP Technical Advisory Committee, PEP sponsors and supports numerous monitoring initiatives including:

  • Water Quality Monitoring:
    • Suffolk County Bureau of Marine Resources Water Quality Sampling
    • USGS Continuous Water Quality Sampling
  • Atmospheric Deposition Monitoring
  • Eelgrass Monitoring
  • Salt Marsh Surface Elevation Table (SET) Monitoring

Learn more about our Monitoring Programs


The PEP relies on scientific data and extensive, cutting edge research initiatives to help support management decisions pertaining to our local natural resources. It is important to strive to understand, to the greatest extent possible, the effects various biological, chemical, and physical interactions have on the Peconic Estuary system. In order to do so, the PEP supports projects that aim to help us better understand problems such as the presence of harmful algal blooms and the disappearance of eelgrass in the Peconic Estuary.  PEP’s Technical Advisory Committee plays an important role in guiding research priorities for the partnership.

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The Peconic Estuary System is an integral part of the Long Island economy and ecology. In order to sustain this valuable resource, we must achieve a balance between the needs of the estuary’s resources and the sometimes conflicting demands of the region’s populace. Key to establishing this balance is an educated citizenry that is willing to support, promote, and actively participate in measures to protect the estuary system at home, at work, and while recreating, and collectively act as wise stewards of a shared public resource. Education and outreach are important core objectives of the Peconic Estuary Partnership. Achieving this requires an intensive education, outreach, and participation effort that is aimed at key stakeholders as well as the public in general. An educated, informed citizen base is key to the success of many of our endeavors.

We encourage citizens to play an active role in the PEP by supporting, promoting and participating in efforts to protect the estuary system both as individuals and collectively as wise stewards of our treasured public resources. The PEP has, and will continue to, offer numerous education opportunities to interested citizens of all ages. We also encourage all who have an interest in the Peconic Region to join the PEP Citizens’ Advisory Committee. This committee plays a part in the PEP Management Conference and continues to develop the broad-based support needed to ensure that estuary program actions are successfully carried out into the implementation phase.

Learn more about our Education and Outreach Programs


The complex nature of the issues facing the Peconic Estuary makes communication and collaboration among numerous stakeholders and regulatory entities a necessity. The PEP is comprised of stakeholders within the estuary and the PEP Management Conference consists of various committees featuring representatives from local government, marine industries, academia, non-profit organizations, and citizens representatives. Committee members from each stakeholder group meet quarterly (always open to the public) to discuss concerns and solutions with the PEP program staff.

This institutional framework relies on the experience and knowledge of the individuals involved and operates based on consensus. A collaborative approach is utilized not only in the structure of the Management Conference, but in the implementation of a majority of the projects and programs carried out in support of the PEP Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.

Learn more about our Committees and Advisory Groups 

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