This is so discouraging. The brown tide has come back with a vengeance. It is widespread (except at the inlets, the New Inlet included), and the longer it lasts, the more damage it will do to habitats and to shell fish and fin fish. As a result The Nature Conservancy has suspended its shellfish restocking efforts for the remainder of this Fall. This new algal bloom just underlines the fact that if we don’t start to address immediately how our septic tanks, antiquated sewer systems, and lawn and agricultural fertilizer are fueling these algal blooms by loading the groundwater with nitrogen, our bay — and all our bays — will die. They are well on their way, in fact.

I therefore recommend you each repost a link to this post on the Facebook Pages of all the public officials who oversee this body of water, on the federal, state, and local level, adding your own comments, and let them and their constituents know that our waters are in crisis and now is the time to act.   Feel free to cite The Long Island Clean Water Partnership site, or to our slideshow at, or our Facebook Page, or our group page, or this web site

Here’s SCERP’s News Release on the brown tide. Below that are the Facebook Pages of at least some of the officials who we need to step up and help solve this problem.


Stony Brook, NY, October 15th 2013 – An intense and damaging brown tide has re-emerged across most of Great South Bay, Moriches Bay, and Shinnecock Bay. Monitoring by The Gobler Laboratory of Stony Brook University’s new marine sciences center in Southampton has revealed that a brown tide that began to develop during September and has intensified this month to nearly 1,000,000 cells per milliliter in central Great South Bay as of October 8th. Densities exceeding 200,000 cells per milliliter were also present in western Great South Bay, Moriches Bay, Quantuck Bay, and Shinnecock Bay. The only regions across Long Island’s South Shore Estuary system that have been spared this scourge have been the ocean inlets, including the New Inlet in Great South Bay which is strongly flushing Bellport Bay and has kept brown tide densities below 20,000 cells per milliliter. This widespread brown tide comes on the heels of a summer event that occurred during May, June, and July within the same regions.

The brown tide alga, Aureococcus anophagefferens, has been notorious on Long Island since it first appeared in 1985 having been responsible for the demise of the largest bay scallop fishery on the US east coast in the Peconic Estuary, the loss of eelgrass across Long Island, and the inhibition of hard clam recovery efforts in Great South Bay. Densities above 50,000 cells per milliliter can be harmful to marine life, particularly clams.

“The occurrence of a fall brown tide is not uncommon, particularly after a summer with a dense and widespread brown tide,” said Christopher Gobler, Professor of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. “We knew that the summer brown tide would end when the bays heated up above 75 degrees. We also knew it could return once the bays cooled down in the fall.”

This was unwelcome news for groups like The Nature Conservancy who are working to restore hard clam populations in Great South Bay. Carl LoBue of The Nature Conservancy said, “We know from our experience in 2008-2009 that back to back brown tide blooms not only impacted survival and growth of young clams, it also impacted spawning of adult clams the following season. We were encouraged in spring because conditions in central Great South Bay looked good into June, so this is disappointing but not surprising, the impacts of pervasive nitrogen pollution have hit almost every bay, harbor, and lake around Long Island this year.”

The occurrence of brown tide in the fall can be problematic for hard clams and other shellfish. The fall has been identified by scientists as a key period of ‘conditioning’ for clams. When presented with the right food during the fall, they are more likely to have a successful reproductive season the following spring. When presented with an extended brown tide, the next generation of clams may fail. How much this brown tide effects condition may depend on how long it persists.

“In 2011, a fall brown tide lasted through December. In other years, such as 1999, they have gone into the winter, even persisting under ice coverage of the bay”, said Gobler.
Decades of research at Stony Brook University regarding brown tides have identified excessive nitrogen loading and poor flushing as factors promoting brown tides on Long Island.

Governor Andrew Cuomo:

Governor Andrew CuomoGovernor Andrew Cuomo. 30,546 likes · 676 talking about this. Andrew M. Cuomo, elected the 56th Governor of New York State on November 2, 2010, has a lifelong commitment to public service and the proven leadership skills to make government work for the people of the state.

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Senator Charles Schumer:

Chuck SchumerChuck Schumer. 28,074 likes · 6,444 talking about this. Over the past three decades in public service, U.S. Senator Charles “Chuck” Ellis Schumer has built a reputation as a leader in finding common-sense solutions to national issues and a tireless fighter for New York.

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Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:

Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Gillibrand. 91,459 likes · 5,076 talking about this. It’s my honor to represent New York in the U.S. Senate. After being sworn in to the Senate in January 2009, I was proud to win election to a full term in November 2012.

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Congressman Tim Bishop:

Timothy BishopTimothy Bishop. 3,575 likes · 855 talking about this. I would like to thank the people of the 1st Congressional District for placing their confidence in me to be their representative in Congress. Representing our community in Congress is the honor of my lifetime.

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Congressman Peter King:

Peter KingPeter King. 16,316 likes · 2,729 talking about this. Rep. Peter King represents the Second Congressional District in New York.

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Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone:

Suffolk County Executive Steven BelloneSuffolk County Executive Steven Bellone. 712 likes · 21 talking about this. Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone took office on January 1, 2012. Previously, he served since 2001 as Babylon Town Supervisor. In Babylon, County Executive Bellone kept that town in excellent fiscal standing even as the recession put governments at all levels in deep financial trouble.

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New York State Senator Lee Zeldin — District 3

Senator Phil BoyleSenator Phil Boyle, Bay Shore, New York. 332 likes · 7 talking about this. Senator Phil Boyle represents the 4th District in the New York State Senate which includes parts of Babylon and Islip.

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New York State Senator Phil Boyle — District 4

Lee ZeldinLee Zeldin. 13,978 likes · 1,430 talking about this. Lee Zeldin grew up in Suffolk County and graduated from William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany and then his law degree from Albany Law School, becoming New York’s youngest attorney at the time at the age of 23.

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Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino — District 7

Assemblyman Andrew R. GarbarinoAssemblyman Andrew R. Garbarino, Bayport, New York. 117 likes · 6 talking about this. Andrew Garbarino was elected to serve the constituents of the 7th Assembly District on November 6, 2012. His district includes parts of Suffolk County. A third generation local businessman, Garbarino works at his family law firm in downtown Sayville.

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Assemblyman Joseph Saladino, District 9

Assemblyman Joseph SaladinoAssemblyman Joseph Saladino. 8 likes · 0 talking about this. This is the official facebook page for Assemblyman Joseph Saladino. You can contact my office through here, by email at [email protected], or by phone at 541-4627 if you have any questions.

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Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine:

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. RomaineBrookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine. 297 likes · 4 talking about this. Ed Romaine was elected Brookhaven Town’s 70th supervisor in a special election November 6, 2012. He earned a B.A. in History from Adelphi University and a Masters in History from Long Island University.

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Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci:

Tom CrociTom Croci, Islip, NY. 1,378 likes · 2 talking about this. Tom Croci is the grandson of Italian immigrants who entered the United States through Ellis Island. Tom graduated from Connetquot High School in 1990 and attended James Madison University where he studied Political Science and was heavily involved in school activities.

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Town of Babylon Page — Rich Schaffer, Supervisor:

Town of BabylonTown of Babylon, Lindenhurst, NY. 6,029 likes · 575 talking about this. The Town of Babylon is a proud, diverse south shore community. Our mission is to provide quality services and facilities to our hard-working residents. Please visit our website at

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