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Program Statistics

Our Impact

The ShiRP program shows that it is possible to turn an ecosystem around. We are proud that the program has made a positive impact on the water quality, marine life, and human communities in and around Shinnecock Bay.

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From 2012 to 2021, ShiRP stocked almost 5 million adult hard clams into western Shinnecock Bay

1.5 million in 2021-21 as part of the state funded Long Island Shellfish Restoration Project


3.2 million planted by ShiRP from 2012-2019

Survey's Show:

  • high survivorship 

  • strong growth 

  • evidence of reproduction 



half-acre plots planted with high densities of adult clams 

Spawner sanctuaries have led to:

100 x

increase in juvenile clams in eastern Shinnecock Bay since the program began

Greater than 20-fold increase in hard clam landings (harvested outside the sanctuaries) since the inception of ShiRP 


Adult hard clam densities have tripled in western Shinnecock Bay since 2014, and have increased by an order of magnitude in the eastern bay 

Before ShiRP

During ShiRP

  • Landings are back to what they were at pre-brown tide levels (1980)

  • They exceed any estuary across south shore of Long Island 

Oyster Reefs


Oyster reefs built since 2018

5 million

Oyster spat on shell deployed into the western bay

Strong growth of oysters and valuable habitat formation 

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acres of new  eelgrass



seeds released within restoration plots covering more than 12 acres in western Shinnecock Bay 

9.35 Million

“Shinnecock Bay is arguably the healthiest bay in New York State, and our work demonstrates that people can reverse the damage done through nature-based, scientifically guided restoration.”

– Dr. Ellen Pikitch

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