Save The Great South Bay, a local 501(c)3 environmental non-profit, is launching the South Shore Bays Unified Water Study, a pilot program using an innovative water quality monitoring protocol. This initiative allows groups across the South Shore to gather comparable data on the environmental health of the bays.

With various groups currently utilizing different methods for monitoring, it’s challenging to make accurate comparisons of water quality across the South Shore Estuary Reserve, with bays stretching from Hempstead to Shinnecock, including the Great South Bay. By implementing a standardized protocol, this study will provide more dependable data, enhancing our understanding of the environmental changes taking place.

Save The Great South Bay is collaborating with several partners on this groundbreaking pilot project including the Town of Hempstead Department of Conservation & Waterways, Seatuck Environmental, Gobler Laboratory at Stony Brook’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Suffolk County Department of Health, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and United States Geological Services, amongst others.

The data collected will be then used to create the first ever South Shore Bays Report Card, illustrating the ecological health of the bays in an easy to understand format using simple letter grades.

“Understanding the significance of the scientific data actually is key to guiding efforts to restore and protect water quality”, says Robyn Silvestri, Executive Director of the local non-profit.

Additionally, the bi-annual Report Card will set a benchmark for water quality and help assess the overall effectiveness of ongoing and future restoration efforts over time.

“People often ask us how the Bay is doing. This Report Card will provide the scientific answer in a way everyone can easily comprehend,” said Rhianna Quinn Roddy, Board Member and Chair of the South Shore Bays UWS & Report Card at the non-profit. “We are thrilled to be working closely with Save The Sound, modeling our project based on their impressive work on the North Shore.

With water quality on Long Island being at an all-time low, according to recent reports by Dr. Christopher Gobler of Stony Brook’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences,  there is no time to lose. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure as the maxim has it.  Once the indicators are in, they must be actively addressed.  If not, all you’re doing is managing the status quo,” says Dorian Dale, Chief Sustainability Officer for Suffolk County.

For more information on this project, please email [email protected].

Save The Great South Bay is a 501(c)3 environmental non-profit whose mission is to restore and protect water quality in the Great South Bay. We achieve this through four primary programs: the Great South Bay Oyster Project, the Creek Defender Program, Bay Friendly Yards/Habitat Restoration, public education and advocacy. Learn more at

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