Protecting & Restoring Long Island's Peconic Bays
Long Island is home to many great watershed protection programs.
The Peconic Estuary Program watershed is bordered to the north by the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) and to the south by the South Shore Estuary Reserve (SSER). Check out the PEP, LISS and SSER Boundary Map.
Long Island Sound is an estuary approximately 110 miles long (east to west) and 21 miles across at its widest point, and covers an area of 1320 square miles with 600 miles of coastline. It is located in one of the most densely populated areas in the United States, particularly along the Nation’s coastal areas, within the jurisdiction of two states, New York and Connecticut. Its valuable recreational and commercial uses make it one of the most important estuaries in the nation. In 1985, Congress allocated funds for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to research, monitor, and assess the water quality of Long Island Sound. In March 1988, Long Island Sound was identified as an Estuary of National Significance and the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) became a part of EPA’s National Estuary Program. Area of the Long Island Sound 1,320 square miles. Area of the drainage basin or watershed 16,820 square miles.
The South Shore Estuary Reserve is part of the National Estuarine Research Reserves. The Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve encompasses one of New York State’s most diverse estuaries and its 326 square mile watershed in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The Reserve extends from the Queens/Nassau County line eastward about 75 miles to the Village of Southampton in Suffolk County. From south to north, the Reserve extends from the mean high tide line on the ocean side of the barrier island to the inland limits of the estuary’s watershed. The Reserve’s shallow, interconnected bays and tidal tributaries provide highly productive habitats and support the largest concentration of water-dependent businesses in the State. Home to 1.5 million people, the Reserve is the anchor of the region’s tourism, seafood, and recreation industries, attracting millions of visitors each year to enjoy its beauty and bounty.