Goal of the Program

  • Enhance natural filtration capacity of the ecosystem with bivalves (clams and oysters)
  • Expand remaining eelgrass beds by deploying millions of seeds
  • Understand how harvesting macroalgae can help with nutrient removal
  • Monitor the fish and invertebrate populations in the bay to understand change over time
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of our restoration strategies through robust monitoring
  • Communicate our goals and progress with stakeholders and the public

Our Approach

Our goal is to improve water quality and bring back a thriving ecosystem to Shinnecock Bay with a strong foundation in science and an ongoing monitoring program that informs our efforts.

Before our restoration activities began, we conducted many field surveys and experiments to understand which species to use, how likely they were to grow and survive, and which locations were most suitable.

After we started our restoration activities, we have continuously monitored how well the restoration areas are doing, and how the bay is changing for the better. We put our strong scientific skills to work, document our lessons learned, and capitalize on what we see is successful.

We believe that our science-based model for estuary restoration can have positive implications and lessons for other initiatives of its kind, and we hope that as our program continues, we can share our experience on a broader scale.

Who We Are

In response to the deteriorating situation in Shinnecock Bay, the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) and its Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University initiated the Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program (ShiRP).

School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences       Institute for Ocean Conservation Science

measuring skate


processing the catch