The Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area on Long Island is home to 216 bird species as well as other marine and land wildlife native to the east coast of the United States. Located in Oceanside Long Island on the Great South Bay, The Marine Nature Study Area has trails and bridges that meander around salt water marshes and tide pools. Schools and camps visit the education center where they learn about our waters and the wildlife that inhabit them. This is a fantastic place for photographers, bird watchers and families to come and spend a few hours bonding with nature.
As a Long Islander, it is important to me to conserve our beautiful coastline so that my children and their children can enjoy it the way I do, taking photos of the Great Egrets.
CHALLENGES AND THREATS
Houses built in front of the dunes and shoreline engineering, such as jetties, bulkheads, and repeated beach nourishment are short-term and expensive strategies that weaken the barrier islands, and cause loss of tidal wetlands. In turn water quality of the bays and wildlife habitat is affected.
The water quality and habitats of Moriches, Shinnecock, and the Great South Bay are threatened by many other factors as well. Fertilizers, pesticides, and road-run-off enter the groundwater and tidal creeks. In addition, depleted shellfish populations have changed the bays and their food chain dynamics in complex — and negative ways. Scientists predict a sea level rise of 12-18 inches or more in the coming 100 years due to climate change. The barrier islands, beaches and dunes, and tidal wetlands can maintain themselves in the face of sea level rise if they are allowed to move and shift. How to reconcile this fact with the recognition that many people and communities are heavily invested in living along the south shore’s waterfront is a great conservation challenge. – The Nature Conservancy