The Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program (ShiRP) aims to reduce the occurrence of harmful algal blooms and increase shellfish populations in Shinnecock Bay. Ultimately, the goal is to restore the nutrient balance and enrich the diversity of plants and animals living in the bay. By performing a baseline survey of the current state of the bay, and then working to replenish shellfish and eelgrass beds, the ShiRP team hopes to return Shinnecock Bay to a thriving estuarine environment.

The ShiRP program is initially designed around a five year timeline. The program will be implemented in phases that build on the results of the previous phase, making the restoration an integrative and adaptive process over time.


We are very encouraged about the positive signs we are seeing in western Shinnecock Bay.

These include:

  • Our hard clam sanctuaries are showing high levels of survival and the clams are in good reproductive condition
  • There is evidence of increased hard clams outside of the sanctuaries!
  • Oyster reefs are thriving, showing high survival, robust growth, and biotic communities settling onto the reefs
  • Harmful Algae Blooms are improving: they are less persistent, and when they have occurred, they are less dense. There was no PSP closure in Shinnecock Bay in 2019
  • We have spread over 5 million eelgrass seeds into areas adjacent to healthy existing beds, and have seen an increase of over 10 acres in western Shinnecock Bay
  • We have seen increased biomass and species diversity in the western bay as water quality and habitat have improved, and we are now using eDNA to identify new species of fish that we haven't yet sampled through other methods




eelgrass bags

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Shinnecock Bay

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