Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve
About the South Shore Estuary Reserve

Photo of the South Shore Estuary Reserve Estuaries are partially enclosed coastal aquatic habitats where an ocean's salt water is diluted with fresh water draining from groundwater fed tributaries within a watershed. Long Island's South Shore Estuary Reserve (SSER) receives salt water from the Atlantic Ocean through inlets in the protective barrier island system and fresh water from groundwater and over one hundred rivers and streams.

The SSER was formed during the past 5,000 - 10,000 years by the interaction of rising seas and the glacially-deposited material that makes up Long Island. This interaction shaped the barrier island system and enclosed 173 square miles of bays now characterized by tidal marshes, mud and sand flats, beds of underwater vegetation, barrier island, and extensive shallows. This barrier and bay system continues to be re-worked by the constant actions of the tides, wind, waves, and coastal storms.

In 1993, the New York State Legislature created the SSER at the urging of citizens concerned with the long-term health and productivity of the south shore's bays. West to east, the Reserve stretches from the Nassau — Queens county line to the middle of the Town of Southampton. South to north, it extends from mean high tide on the ocean side of the barrier islands to the inland limits of the watersheds that drain into the bays.

The relatively calm, protected waters of the SSER provide the basis for water-dependent economic and recreational activities that have evolved from boat building and the harvesting of oysters, hard clams, and salt hay, to recreational boating, sport fishing, waterborne transportation, and tourism. Today, this area is home to the largest concentration of commercial vessels, recreational vessels, marinas, and other water-dependent businesses in the State, and some of the finest recreational opportunities.

For more information on the South Shore Estuary Reserve; including events, meetings, public outreach, and how to become more involved in protecting the estuary, visit the New York Department of State's SSER Council website at https://www.dos.ny.gov/opd/sser/.

Recent news for the South Shore Estuary Reserve

Currently unavailable