Waterway Conservation and Management
WATERWAY CONSERVATION & MANAGEMENT
Bay Management Areas
Designated locations within the Towns waterways that are protected for the use of this departments efforts to restore marine habitats and wildlife. Functions of these areas include: bay bottom restoration and shellfish restoration. These areas are identified by 4 orange buoys and floating signage. Currently shell fishing is prohibited within Bay Management areas due to conservation efforts. Once optimal population density is achieved, public harvesting will be available.
Conservation Management Area 1:
Located in Oyster Bay Harbor, just east of West Shore Road
Conservation Management Area 2:
Located in Cold Spring Harbor, north of Laurel Hollow Beach
Conservation Management Area 3:
Located in South Oyster Bay north of the TOBAY Boat Basin
Located within Conservation Management Area 2, where the sediment is not optimal for shellfish harvesting, but does provide optimal protection from natural predators and reproduction efforts. This division works to restore and maintain shellfish population in these areas with the purpose of utilizing their natural filtration process to improve water qualities. Shellfish grown in Spawner Sanctuaries are NOT available for public harvesting.
Tidal Wetlands & Dune Stabilization
The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies are vegetation of aquatic plants and marine species. Tidal wetlands are distinct ecosystems that are flooded by water, either permanently or seasonally, creating habitats for inter-tidal zone species such as Mussels, and Crabs. Local wetlands are also the prime nesting place for two species of birds that currently fall on the federally endangered list, Piping Plovers and Least Terns. The Department of Environmental works to restore these locations by planting Smooth Cordgrasses in areas devoid of vegetation as part of our pollution prevention efforts and helping to prevent erosion.
Restoration projects of Tidal Wetlands within the Town of Oyster Bay include:
Centre Island Beach Bayside
Centre Island Beach Sound side
Bayville- Between Ludlam Ave. & West Harbor Beach
Additionally, this department conducts an ongoing Dune Stabilization Program at TOBAY Beach. These efforts, which are aimed at preventing erosion and preserving the integrity of this critically important barrier beach, include the planting of dune grass, a proven dune stabilizer; its thick stems reduce wind velocity near the ground and trap windblown sand. Signage at the beach and informational messages remind beach-goers to avoid walking on, or otherwise disturbing, the fragile dune structures.
Water Quality Monitoring and Sampling: Protecting Our Waterways
The Department of Environmental Resources is responsible for monitoring water quality in Oyster Bay Harbor, Hempstead Harbor, Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island Sound, and South Oyster Bay in partnership with local community advocacy groups. Water sampling is conducted twice weekly from April to September as part of our efforts in ensuring public health for swimming, bathing, and other recreational purposes. Additional water sampling is conducted on a weekly basis to monitor for bacteria, oxygen, temperature, salinity, and PH levels in an effort to ensure quality control in areas where shellfish, fish, and other marine species are harvested for consumption.
Water Pollution Prevention
In compliance with New York State, the Town of Oyster Bay actively participates in a program, which has been approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, for the control of waste water and storm water discharges in accordance with the federal Clean Water Act. The program is known as the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) and is broader in scope than that required by the Clean Water Act in that it controls point source discharges to groundwater as well as surface waters.
Additionally, as part of the Towns commitment to preventing water pollution of our natural waterways, this department engages in various methods in an effort to restrict pollutant contamination. Developed programs include:
- Storm Drain Filters
- Tidal Wetland Restoration
- Harbor and Beach Cleanups
- S.T.O.P. and Homeowners Cleanup programs
- Electronic Waste Collection
Marine Wildlife Rescue
In partnership with the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, this department works to assist in rescue efforts of beached or distressed marine wildlife. If you should come upon an animal in need of assistance please call the listed hotline number.
If you find a marine animal in need:
- Call the hotline: (631) 317-0030
- Don’t touch the animal
- Stay in a safe distance
- Remain Calm
Stormwater Pollution & Green Infrastructure Solutions
The Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District produced this educational film on Stormwater Pollution and Green Infrastructure, as a joint project with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. We hope you enjoy it! Please share what you have learned with your family and neighbors.
To learn more and for more stormwater education resources, visit www.NassauSWCD.org
We work together, for healthy soils and clean water.