People often ask how is the Great South Bay doing? Til now, it’s been a rhetorical question for the vast majority of us. One of our organization’s 2020 goals was to connect with the scientists who collect data in the Great South Bay. Each piece of data is part of the larger puzzle of what action is needed to help save the Bay which, in turn, informs our organization’s actions and programs.

At our most recent Save The Great South Bay’s Speaker Series, we were honored to welcome Dr. Christopher Gobler of Gobler Laboratories at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SOMAS). In his 20-minute, easy-to-understand presentation, Dr. Gobler shared 15+ years of data he has collected and interpreted, depicting the changing state of health of the Great South Bay. He talked with us about the many factors affecting the health of the Bay including the rising levels of nitrogen and the resulting brown tides, invasive Japanese seaweed, and the impact of chemical fertilizers and cesspools on the Bay’s deteriorating condition. His presentation showed increasing levels of nitrogen in the central and western bay.

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Hypoxia: A condition caused by lack of adequate oxygen supply

No spoiler alerts here…. the trends are cause for great concern. Hypoxia, a condition in which a region is deprived of an adequate oxygen supply, brown and mahogany tides are not dangerous to people but can be very harmful to aquatic plant and marine life, as demonstrated by the large scale, local fish kills and decimation of the Peconic Bay shellfish populations. The health of our South Shore economies are dependent on the health of the Bay.  This is our call to action – immediate, decisive and community-driven action.

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors: we borrow it from our children.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Help us protect the Bay for future generations to enjoy. Start today by spending 20 minutes watching this presentation. If you live/work/have a business/fish/swim/spend your summer on Long Island, this is time well spent. Promise.

 

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Save The Great South Bay’s Speaker Series brings together the many local stakeholders affected by the health of the Bay in one conversation. In the past month, our Speaker Series has featured prominent scientists from Stony Brook’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SOMAS) including Dr. Roger Flood who shared his Bay bottom sonar scan data, providing a fascinating look at the underwater surfaces, from historic dredging patterns to shellfish reef locations from days long gone. At our next Speaker Series, Dr. Charles Flagg spoke with us about drift patterns in the Great South Bay, how water movement coul d influence shellfish restoration efforts, and the effects of the new Bellport inlet on water patterns throughout the Bay. Do you have relevant topic you’d like to speak about? Email our Robyn Silvestri, Executive Director, at [email protected].

Save The Great South Bay, is a 501(c)3 environmental non-profit whose mission is to restore the Great South Bay to a healthy state,  strengthening our South Shore communities. To learn more, visit www.savethegreatsouthbay.org.