Protecting & Restoring Long Island's Peconic Bays
Learn what PEP is doing to address the priority issues in the Peconic Estuary!
Reducing nitrogen loading to the Peconic Estuary, especially via groundwater, has been identified as a top priority for the Peconic Estuary Partnership, due to its far reaching impacts including harmful and toxic algal blooms, low dissolved oxygen and degraded aquatic habitats. The Peconic Estuary Partnership aims to reduce nitrogen loads by identifying sources of nitrogen on a subwatershed basis, and implementing management actions and projects to address these sources. PEP will also help to investigate emerging technologies as interim solutions to address existing groundwater contamination.
To implement cost effective management actions to reduce nitrogen loads to the estuary PEP has invested a great deal of staff and committee time to coordinating with our partners in New York State, Suffolk County, US EPA, and the US Geological Survey to leverage related efforts with similar goals. PEP has been heavily involved in the following efforts.
PEP looks forward to collaborating with these partners to finally make progress on the most serious problem affecting water quality on Eastern Long Island.
Peconic Estuary Partnership is working with the USGS to develop a Solute Transport Model for the Peconic Estuary Watershed. Here is a link to the USGS’s workplan for the Solute Transport Model. The USGS-PEP Solute Transport Modeling Project is developing a subregional solute transport model of the Peconic Estuary ground watershed to assess the time-varying discharge of nitrogen into fresh and coastal waters within the Peconic Estuary watershed. Once the model is complete it can then be applied to run a limited set of scenarios to estimate resulting nitrogen loading rates over time. These tools will provide valuable insights into how nitrogen discharge likely will change in response to nitrogen mitigation efforts within the watershed (such as changes to wastewater and fertilizer inputs to the groundwater) to guide local, state and regional management actions.
The PEP is working with the Village of Sag Harbor to implement a non-point source pollution management project at Havens Beach. The project involves utilizing green infrastructure best management practices to treat stormwater that would otherwise flow across the beach and/ or
through an existing discharge pipe directly to Sag Harbor Bay.
The project will significantly reducing the nitrogen pollutant loads to the waterbody and improving the overall health of the Peconic Estuary. The project is planned to be complete in the Fall 2020.
PEP is working with Anchor QEA, LLC. to compile and assess the cost per pound of nitrogen reduction to groundwater for various nitrogen reduction best management practices (BMPs) currently being employed throughout the country.
The project will provide a decision-making tool to guide cost effective management scenarios to reduce nitrogen on a subwatershed basis in the Peconic Estuary. The project is planned to be complete in the Fall 2020.
Peconic Estuary Partnership fully supports the Suffolk County Reclaim Our Water Initiative to roll out the Septic Improvement Grant and Loan Program to incentivize the replacement of waste treatment systems that do not adequately reduce nitrogen pollution, such as septic systems and cesspools, with innovative/alternative onsite wastewater treatment systems (I/A OWTS). Peconic Estuary Partnership fully supports the Suffolk County Subwatersheds Wastewater Plan to comprehensively transition away from reliance on conventional cesspools and septic systems, which are the primary source of nitrogen pollution in the Peconic Estuary.
The Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) is a multiyear initiative to reduce nitrogen in Long Island's surface and ground waters by DEC, the Long Island Regional Planning Council (LIRPC), and Suffolk and Nassau counties, with input from multiple partners and stakeholders. PEP is committed to working with our partners to achieve the goals of LINAP. PEP's current projects are in alignment with LINAP goals and is conducting a social media campaign to educate the public and our stakeholders on the importance and relevance of LINAP.
Monitoring of nitrogen in the Pecoinc Estuary is essential for understanding the the health of the Estuary. The Peconic Estuary Partnership supports both a year-round long-term periodic water sampling program conducted by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) Office of Ecology, Bureau of Marine Resources and a continuous water sampling program conducted by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). These programs measure nitrogen levels in the water, as well as various other water quality indicators. Since 2003, the Peconic Estuary Partnership has also been monitoring the atmospheric deposition of nitrogen in the Peconic Estuary watershed, through our participation in the National Atmospheric Deposition Program. This data helps inform nitrogen management policies and goals. Learn more about the Peconic Estuary Monitoring Programs here.
A recent initiative to reduce pollution from agriculture is the Agricultural Stewardship Plan. The mission of the Agricultural Stewardship Program is to cooperatively develop a strategy to lower nutrient and pesticide loading associated with farming to the groundwater and surface waters of Suffolk County while maintaining a strong, viable agricultural industry. Click here to view the Agricultural Stewardship Plan. PEP continues to work with numerous partners (government agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions and private farmers) on a Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), titled “Agricultural Stewardship in the Peconic Estuary Watershed” to provide technical assistance and financial resources to Suffolk County farmers within the federally-designated Peconic Estuary Watershed in New York to farmers to conduct nutrient management plans and integrated pest management plans to adapt best management practices, which will improve agricultural efficiencies and protect surface and groundwater quality, soil vitality and wildlife habitat.
Through the Homeowner Rewards Program the PEP provides financial rewards for homeowners, in neighborhoods within the Peconic Estuary Watershed, who add raingardens, native plantings, and/or rain barrels to their properties. Simultaneously, the program educates the community about the benefits of raingardens, rain barrels, and native plants for nitrogen reduction.
Harmful algal blooms (HAB) have plagued the Peconic Estuary since at least the mid-1980’s and pose a public and environmental health threat. With an increasing frequency, we are seeing harmful algal blooms in various areas of our Suffolk County waterbodies. Suffolk County’s marine waters are a huge economic driver for Long Island in their contributions to tourism, commerce, fishing, recreation, and more. Safe and attractive waters play a key role in assuring the success of many of these activities.
PEP will focus on reducing nitrogen loading, one of the primary causes of harmful algal blooms. Additionally PEP was heavily involved in the development of the Suffolk County Harmful Algal Bloom Action Plan, to aid in understanding HABs and to help focus future actions and management strategies. PEP will work with partners to implement the management recommendations in the plan.
Contamination of Peconic Estuary waters by bacteria and other pathogenic organisms may result in the closure of bathing beaches and the closure of shellfish beds for human consumption; thus impacting economic and recreational activities on the East End. The Peconic Estuary Partnership is working with its partners to reduce pathogen pollution from stormwater runoff and wastewater.
To decrease the amount of pollutants entering the water via stormwater we need to do our part to change what we do on land. PEP has worked to establish subwatershed management plans to address the pathogen loads to waterbodies troubled with pathogen pollution, and to date has created 12 subwatershed management plans.
These plans focuses on identifying cost‐effective structural and non‐structural practices to reduce overall pollutant loadings (i.e. bacteria, sediment, nutrients) and runoff volume to the subwatershed. Successful implementation of these plans is expected to help reduce stormwater runoff pollution and improve overall water quality conditions. This should in turn improve shellfish harvesting capacity, eelgrass habitat, and degraded marsh areas.
PEP established a collaboration of East End municipalities to share resources and work together on projects to reduce stormwater runoff, reduce pollution from septic system discharges, agricultural and residential fertilization, groundwater flows, illegal dumping, floatable debris and boat waste. Learn more here.
PEP protects and restores priority habitats; including critical areas that support submerged aquatic vegetation, tidal wetlands and fish habitat, that are threatened by the alteration of the natural landscape from factors such as development, pollution and climate change.
In 1997 the Peconic Estuary Partnership Habitat Restoration Workgroup was formed and charged with identifying important Peconic natural habitats with enhancement or restoration potential, developing overall habitat restoration goals, and identifying and prioritizing potential restoration projects. The end product was the “Habitat Restoration Plan for the Peconic Estuary” dated December 2000. This Habitat Restoration Plan was subsequently updated in 2009 and again in 2017. Over the years, the Peconic Estuary Partnership has completed projects to restore a variety of habitat types, including beaches/dunes, grasslands, diadromous fish habitat, eelgrass, and wetlands. Peconic Estuary Partnership 2017 Habitat Restoration Plan View Habitat Restoration Project Map
The decline of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) in the Peconic Estuary over the last 70 years has contributed to the degradation of the estuary as a whole. The PEP has undertaken several initiatives to advance the protection and management of eelgrass in the Peconic Estuary. Since its inception, the PEP has supported a Long Term Eelgrass Monitoring Program conducted by Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Marine Program. This monitoring program, has focused on collecting data pertaining to the health of the eelgrass beds at various sites throughout the Peconic Estuary. PEP also conducted aerial surveys of eelgrass in 2014 to map and identify changes in the extent of the resource over time. In 2009, an Eelgrass Management Plan was adopted in 2009 to provide a nesting ground for discussion, theories, and new actions necessary to minimize impacts to eelgrass and to provide a suitable environment for eelgrass to exist.
The Seagrass Bio-optical Model is being developed in cooperation with The Research Foundation of SUNY Stony Brook to provide site specific information on what areas of the Peconic Estuary provide suitable habitat for eelgrass to guide future eelgrass protection and restoration projects. This project will lead to a better understanding of specific light and temperature requirements for eelgrass in the Peconic Estuary (PE). This is the critical next step towards understanding the threats to the eelgrass community and where restoration projects have the best probability of success. The final report and Seagrass Restoration Map and Tool will be posted here when available. Click here for the presentation on the Living on the edge- analysis of Z. marina and potential for restoration- Kaitlyn O'Toole (2020). An ArcGIS tool and Story Map is being developed to share the results with our stakeholders.
The PEP is working with the NYSDEC and SUNY Stony Brook to analyze spatial and temporal trends in the Peconic Estuary finfish trawl survey dataset, and develop risk metrics from ecological relationships for the Peconic Estuary that examine whether local and regional environmental changes have increased the vulnerability of individual finfish and mobile invertebrate species, community assemblages, and ecosystem processes.
The ECOSIM is a quantitative modeling framework that can represent all major ecosystem functional groups and can be used to identify and assess structural changes in the ecosystem in response to environmental change. The proposed study will identify vulnerable species, critical habitats, and ecosystem properties within the Peconic Estuary. This information has direct application to decisions affecting the use, management, and conservation of the natural resources in the bay.
A SUNY Stony Brook is advertising for a post-doctoral position currently to complete the work. The expected completion period is Fall 2021.
The Woodhull Dam is the next major barrier to fish passage on the Little River. Providing permanent fish passage at Woodhull Dam will create access to 95 acres of prime spawning habitat within Wildwood Lake. Wildwood Lake is located within preserved lands and would provide high quality, protected habitat. Funding for the construction of the dam was awarded to Suffolk County Parks/PEP through a NYSDEC Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Grant. The project includes the construction and installation of a combination Denil pass and step pool fish passage and eel passage through the dam bypassing the existing culvert, with a video monitoring and fish counter system. Click here to Learn about PEP’s Progress in Diadromous Fish Habitat Restoration.
See below for the fish and eel passage design.
The Upper Mills Dam is the next major barrier to fish passage on the main stem of the Peconic River. In addition to the dam, USGS maintains a concrete weir two-hundred and fifty (250) feet downstream of the dam in order to measure the stage and discharge of the Peconic River, which also impedes fish passage. A feasibility and alternative analysis for fish passage at the Upper Mills Dam was completed in 2011. PEP is currently contracting with L.K. Mclean Associates P.C. to complete the engineering design and permitting services for construction of a fish passage at the Upper Mills Dam and Weir. Options being considered include nature-like fish ways around the dam and weir and dam removal. This project will open 40 acres of historic spawning and maturation habitat for diadromous fish. Click here to Learn about PEP’s Progress in Diadromous Fish Habitat Restoration.
PEP is currently developing engineering designs for selected design alternative below.
In 2019 PEP completed a conceptual design, with Land Use Ecological Services, Inc., for the priority habitat restoration project at Narrow River Road, Southold, NY. Click here for the Narrow River Road Wetland Restoration Conceptual Design Plan.
Narrow River is a tributary of the Peconic Bay and flows south from the Town’s Whitcom Marsh Preserve under Route 25 and along the eastern side of Narrow River Rd in Orient, NY. An earthen dam was constructed after the 1938 hurricane to prevent tidal flooding of the lands north of the dam. The westernmost section of the dam blocked the tidal flow from Narrow River to the large meadow area north of the dam known as Broad
Meadows and Whitcom Marsh Preserve north of Route 25.
Remediation of the culvert and earthen dam is needed to improve the tidal exchange throughout the extent of the river and increase the salinity of the river to promote the re-establishment of native vegetation and important waterfowl and wading bird habitat. The potential extent of the restoration area is 80 acres. PEP is working with partners to secure funding for engineering design plans and construction.
In 2019 PEP completed a conceptual design, with Land Use Ecological Services, Inc., for the priority habitat restoration project at Meetinghouse Creek, Riverhead, NY. Click here for the Meetinghouse Creek Wetland Restoration/ Construction Conceptual Design Plan.
This site is located at a large wetland area that forms the headwaters to Meetinghouse Creek in Riverhead, NY. Meetinghouse Creek is listed as an impaired waterbody on the NYSDEC Priority Waterbodies List. The wetland vegetation at this site is dominated by Phragmites.
The conceptual design recommendation is to construct a 1.2-acre stormwater wetland to treat stormwater runoff in the 5.6 acre contributing watershed. This will improve water quality in the downstream wetland and
surface waters. Additionally, it will greatly increase the ecological quality of the habitat and improve plant and wildlife diversity.
An RFP for Engineering Design and Permitting was advertised,
proposals are due April 30th. PEP will work with the selected contractor and Town of Riverhead to complete the Engineering Design and Permitting services.
In 2019 PEP completed a conceptual design, with Land Use Ecological Services, Inc., for the priority habitat restoration project at Lake Montauk, East Hampton NY. Click here for the East Hampton: Lake Montauk Alewife Access and Habitat Enhancement Conceptual Design Plan.
The goal of the conceptual habitat restoration design plan is to restore connectivity for diadromous fish species between Lake Montauk
and Big Reed Pond by replacing an undersized culvert, and between Lake Montauk and Stepping Stones Pond by replacing an undersized,
impassable culverts under Old West Lake Drive and removing debris.
Suffolk County Capital funds have been secured to replace the culvert that leads to Big Reed Pond and PEP staff will be working with Suffolk County parks to complete the permitting and construction. PEP staff are also working with partners to secure funding to complete engineering design plan and construction of the culvert leading to Stepping Stones Pond.
The status and trends of living resources are closely related to the amount of land preserved in the Peconic Estuary. Benefits to land protection include preserving unique species and natural communities, and controlling nutrient and pollution loads to the Estuary. In addition, the public has exhibited a strong attachment to the natural resources and amenities provided by the Peconic Estuary region. The Peconic Estuary Partnership developed a 2004 Critical Lands Protection Strategy (CLPS) that outlined land still available for development that also meet certain criteria used to determine land protection priorities. The Partnership shares this information with State and local agencies so that it can be used to make land acquisition decisions. Since 2006, approximately 2,443 acres of land have been protected in the Peconic Estuary watershed. The most significant source of funding for land protection is the Community Preservation Fund (CPF), administered by the five East End towns. This funding is supplemented by County and State governments, and not-for-profit organizations (especially The Nature Conservancy and the Peconic Land Trust). In 2019 the Critical Lands Protection Strategy was updated to continue protecting land for habitat and water quality protection, adaptation to sea level rise and groundwater protection. PEP worked with Anchor QEA, LLC. to re-evaluate the original prioritization of the Critical Lands Protection Strategy (CLPS) and the lands within the watershed were evaluation and prioritized considering climate change impacts. The 2019 Critical Lands Protection Strategy is included here in the 2019 Peconic Estuary Partnership Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Action Plan.
The Peconic Estuary Partnership will be sharing this information with the municipalities within the Peconic Estuary watershed over the course 2020.
PEP worked with Peconic Land Trust and Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Suffolk County to create a living shoreline on Peconic Land Trust's Widow's Hole Preserve in Greenport, NY. This is the first living shoreline project to be completed in the Peconic Estuary. It will be monitored to assess its efficacy in providing storm resilience and coastal habitat, and the changes in elevation of the shoreline over time to identify loss/gain of sand and the growth of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and America beachgrass (Ammophila) Click here to view the project story: Widow’s Hole Preserve Story Map.
Phase II of the project scope, extending the living shoreline to the entire Widows Hole Preserve property, has been developed by CCE and added to the PEP Habitat Restoration Plan.
Peconic Estuary Partnership is working with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County to complete a demonstration living shoreline project at the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center (SCMELC) in Southold, NY. The project incorporates smooth cordgrass and ribbed mussels and will be evaluated to determine its ability to provide storm resilience and coastal habitat, but also the shoreline’s effectiveness in reducing nitrogen and pathogen inputs to the Peconic Estuary. The project is expected to be complete in August 2020.
With the help of GIS interns, PEP is completing a GIS mapping project to quantify the amount of hardened shoreline in the Estuary. The last survey was in Peconic Estuary Hardened Shoreline Mapping Report was completed in 2003.
PEP is working to ensure that climate change is considered in all PEP decision making, including the prioritization and selection of sites for restoration and acquisition. Maintaining and increasing living shorelines, updating the critical lands protection strategy, and educating stakeholders about the impacts of climate change on estuary resources will be priorities.
In 2016 PEP embarked on a Climate Ready Assessment (CRA) Project with Anchor QEA, LLC. to incorporate climate change into an updated CLPS, to conduct a risk-based climate change vulnerability assessment, and to develop an adaptation action plan consistent with USEPA’s Climate Ready Estuaries Program. PEP has completed a risk-based assessment, to account for future sea level rise, storm inundation and erosion potential. Based on the results of this assessment, a Climate Ready Action Plan was developed to address prioritized climate change risks and vulnerabilities in the Peconic Estuary watershed and the Shinnecock Indian Nation. The intent of the Action Plan is to identify methods to integrate climate change consideration into all phases of planning, design, and execution of the Peconic Estuary Partnership. The Climate Ready Action Plan is a guide for the municipalities and resources managers in the Peconic Estuary and the Shinnecock Indian Nation to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Here is the 2019 Peconic Estuary Program Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Action Plan. Here is the 2019 Shinnecock Indian Nation Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Action Plan.
The Peconic Estuary Partnership will be sharing this information with the municipalities within the Peconic Estuary watershed over the course 2020.
Click here for the draft results of the Peconic Estuary Program and Shinnecock Indian Nation Climate Vulnerability Assessment Services project presented by Anchor QEA, LLC. and The Nature Conservancy at the June 5th, 2019 Land Use Stakeholder meeting.
Click here for the Peconic Estuary Partnership and Shinnecock Indian Nation Climate Vulnerability Assessment Services: Risk Assessment presented by Lena DeSantis of Anchor QEA, LLC. at the January 7th, 2019 CCMP Climate Change and Resiliency Chapter Workshop.
Click here for the Climate Ready Assessment of the Peconic Estuary and Shinnecock Indian Nation, and an update to the Peconic Estuary Critical Land Protection Strategy presented by Lena DeSantis of Anchor QEA, LLC. presented at the February 13th, 2018 Technical Advisory Committee meeting.
In 2016 PEP embarked on a Climate Ready Assessment (CRA) Project with Anchor QEA, LLC. to incorporate climate change into an updated CLPS, to conduct a risk-based climate change vulnerability assessment, and to develop an adaptation action plan consistent with USEPA’s Climate Ready Estuaries Program. The PEP completed an update to the Peconic Critical Lands Protection Strategy (CLPS), originally completed in 2004, to take into account climate related variables, specifically sea level rise, in order to update land acquisition priorities. This project will result in the protection and acquisition of lands the will continue to preserve and improve water and habitat quality in the face of rising sea levels and increased temperatures. It will allow for the natural inland migration of critical wetland habitats as sea level rises and preserve living shorelines in an environment where shoreline hardening is likely to become increasingly common. The information resulting from the new strategy will serve as an important tool for New York State, Suffolk County, and local agencies. The 2019 Critical Lands Protection Strategy is included here in the 2019 Peconic Estuary Partnership Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Action Plan.
The Peconic Estuary Partnership will be sharing this information with the municipalities within the Peconic Estuary watershed over the course 2020.
PEP’s regional Subwatershed Management efforts, the Agriculture Stewardship Plan, the initiatives of the PEP Citizens Advisory Committee and the Homeowner Rewards Program are all intended to reduce loadings of pesticides and herbicides. PEP engages a variety of groups (e.g., golf courses, landscapers, municipal land owners, lawn care supply stores, environmental justice communities, etc.) to participate in the Pesticide and Fertilize Elimination/Reduction Program. PEP has also been working on various initiatives to reduce plastics in our waterways.
PEP promotes local and regional S.T.O.P (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) days which are designed to provide area residents with a safe, environmentally sound method of disposal of the many hazardous materials found in the average home.
PEP is a partner in the Plastic Free Waters Partnership which is reducing the volume of trash entering U.S. waterways through a collaboration between many organizations around the country. The Peconic Estuary Partnership is continuing to support this collaboration across the public, higher education, nonprofit and private sectors with the goal of reducing plastic and microplastic debris in all waterbodies primarily in the New York/New Jersey region. The partnership drives the latest research, policies, and education to implement strategies that protect our waters, health, and wildlife. The program focuses on: plastic bags, single-use beverage bottles, disposable take-out containers, microplastics, cigarette butts, straws, and balloons. Microbeads In 2015 Suffolk County banned micro-beads in personal care products, which went into effect on January 1st, 2018. The former Peconic Estuary Partnership Director, Alison Branco, was instrumental in gathering and assessing information about the environmental impacts of micro-beads and the logistics of banning their use, which contributed to the successful passage of the micro-bead ban bill. Plastic Bags PEP assisted Suffolk County in assessments of proposed legislation to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags. The final legislation establishes a 5 cent fee on single-use plastic bags, which went into effect in 2018.
PEP has installed monofilament fishing line receptacles at various location around the estuary to provide a place for fishermen to discard their excess fishing line and help combat marine plastic debris. PEP staff and volunteers will be responsible for collection and maintenance of the receptacles. During collection, we measure and record the receptacle weight and percentage filled to determine the amount of fishing line in each receptacle. Once collected, the fishing line will be sent to The Berkley Conservation Institute Pure Fishing, Inc. for recycling into tackle boxes, spools for line, fish habitats other products.
Here is a map of the sites where PEP and partner fishing line receptacles have been installed:
PEP works with a number of partners to monitor the condition of water quality and essential habitats in the Peconic Estuary. We are constantly developing plans to improve our monitoring programs.
See here for the Peconic Estuary Partnership’s current Monitoring Programs.
Peconic Estuary Partnership is currently working with CoastWise Partners to complete a Water Quality Monitoring Assessment. We held workshops on May 29th, 2019, August 21st, 2019, and December 4th, 2019 with the PEP Technical Advisory Committee and WQ Monitoring Program leads to review WQ monitoring programs in Peconic Estuary. The assessment will continue through out 2020. The objective of the assessment is to review and update the existing water quality monitoring strategy. The goal of this project is to create a PEP WQ Monitoring Strategy that will be relevant for approximately ten years and will be part of the CCMP Update that is implementable given the programs human and financial resource constraints. Additionally the goal is to develop appropriate indicators of estuarine health, ensure appropriate parameters are collected on a temporal and spatial scale to assess these indicators. This project was recommended as a Finding of the EPA’s 2017 Program Evaluation of the PEP.
Click here for the Peconic Estuary Water Quality Monitoring Strategy TAC Presentation, presented by Holly Greening and Gerold Morrison on December 4, 2019.
Click here for the Peconic Estuary Water Quality Monitoring Strategy TAC-Monitoring Leads Working Session Presentation, presented by Holly Greening and Gerold Morrison on August 21, 2019.
Click here for the summary of the May 29th, 2019 TAC and WQ Monitoring Partners Workshop on Existing Water Quality Monitoring Programs, and a Summary of the Existing Water Quality Monitoring Programs in the Peconic Estuary and Watershed.
Peconic Estuary Partnership is currently working with the Peconic Estuary Protection Committee and Tetra Tech, Inc. to develop a Quality Assurance Management Plan (QAMP) and a foundation for Quality Assurance Project Plans (QAPP). The goal of the project is to develop a NYSDEC and EPA approved QAPP to enable the Peconic Estuary Protection Committee (PEPC) and partners to quantify water quality parameters so that equally comparable data can be collected and shared for uses such as to identify and prioritize subwatersheds in the Peconic Estuary that should be targeted for water quality improvement activities; ensure water bodies are properly listed on the NYS Impaired Waters list; and help the PEPC members and partners, including the Peconic Estuary Partnership, assess the current baseline in water quality, and effectiveness of water quality improvement interventions over time. The project is expected to be complete in Fall 2020.
The PEP coordinates 4 citizen programs that focus on collecting information on Horseshoe Crabs, Alewife, and Terrapins. PEP's Fishing Line Recycling Program is another helpful way that the public can help the PEP reduce excess fishing line from harming marine life and help the PEP monitor the areas where the fishing line receptacles are or are still needed.