Protecting & Restoring Long Island's Peconic Bays
The Peconic Estuary Partnership, in response to the adult scallop die-off in the Peconic Bays convened a group of scientists, regulators and experts to assess the known and unknown factors that may have contributed to the demise of the Peconic Bay scallops in 2019 in the Peconic Estuary. This group, the Peconic Bay Scallop Technical Review Committee, has worked together to review all available data relating to Suffolk County water quality, scallop health, the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) scallop restoration program, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Division of Marine Resources Peconic Trawl survey, shellfish landings and environmental monitoring, relevant past and on-going research, regional experiences, and information from local baymen.
The identification of the coccidian parasite and the findings that environmental stressors contributed to the susceptibility of the scallops highlights the importance of high frequency work and the need to understand and form a response to changing climates that result in warmer waters and altered conditions in the Peconic Estuary. Both lab and in-situ experiments that characterize the response of bay scallops to these stressors, as well as, tracking of infection in parallel is also needed. While work is on-going, we are providing here basic preliminary results with a series of initial recommendations to begin the necessary work as fastidiously as possible. The group will continue to meet and review data to form a more comprehensive final set of findings and research recommendations over the coming months.