The Eastern Long Island Sound Eelgrass Restoration Project


  • To establish one acre of eelgrass in eastern Long Island Sound (½ acre on the north side of Plum Island and ½ acre on the north side of Great Gull Island).
  • To conduct test plantings at three additional sites between St. Thomas Point and the Riverhead Town line.


Restoration of submersed aquatic vegetation, specifically eelgrass, has been identified in the Long Island Sound Habitat Restoration Initiative, Section 3: Submerged Aquatic Vegetation, Technical Support for Coastal Habitat Restoration, dated November 2003 (hereafter HRI).  The Eastern Long Island Sound Eelgrass Restoration Project is an expansion of an ongoing eelgrass restoration initiative in the Long Island Sound waters of New York State. Successful completion of the Long Island Sound Eelgrass Restoration Projects (Phase I&II) which included establishment of a 2.5-acre and ½ acre meadows at St. Thomas Point Southold and Terry Point, Southold, respectively as well as numerous test plantings from Southold west to the Caumsett State Historic Park at Lloyd’s Neck have cleared the way for additional work in LIS.  With this funding we plan to expand on this effort and establish additional meadows in the eastern estuary at Plum Island, Great Gull Island and other parts of the Southold shorefront.

Our project directly addresses the first goal set forth by the RFP, that of “Restoration and management of coastal habitats consistent with the priorities identified in the LISS Habitat Restoration Initiative”.  Restoration activities conducted over the last several years have proven that eelgrass plantings are possible and effective in establishing persistent meadows in Long Island Sound.  For this reason a viable method for preserving and enhancing eelgrass in LIS is to establish founder colonies of grass that can help to increase the area covered by grass as well as lead to additional natural spread of the species.

This application represents the third time that CCE Eelgrass Program has applied for a Sound Futures Fund grant. 

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