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Stony Brook Gets $3 Million To Restore Western Shinnecock

Publication: The Southampton PressBy Michael Wright

U.S. Representative Tim Bishop.

photo: DANA SHAW

The Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences announced on Monday that it has received some $3 million in donations from the Laurie Landeau Foundation and the Simons Foundation to seed a plan to help restore water quality and shellfish populations in western Shinnecock Bay.

The school made the announcement at a press conference at the university’s Marine Science Center at the Stony Brook-Southampton campus in Shinnecock Hills on Monday morning.

The school’s efforts will focus primarily on boosting shellfish stocks, expanding the presence of eelgrass beds in the bay and finding ways to battle the harmful algae blooms that have infected the western end of the bay for more than two decades. The program will use the scientific data about conditions throughout the western end of the bay that Stony Brook scientists and students have compiled over a decade of close monitoring to select specific areas where shellfish and eelgrass beds stand the best chance of thriving.

The $3 million is being given to the college by the Laurie Landeau Foundation, which has a specific interest in marine ecosystem restoration and shellfish stocks, and the Simons Foundation.

In the last two years, Stony Brook scientists have been at the forefront of a long list of discoveries about the problems facing western Shinnecock Bay. Two years ago, they were the first to detect the presence of a red algae species that infects shellfish with toxins that can be harmful to humans, even fatal. Last year researchers from the school announced that they had, for the first time, charted the connections between the declining water quality in western Shinnecock, and other bays around Long Island, and the septic systems of residential homes within the bays’ watersheds.

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