Farmingville, NY - Recently, the Town of Brookhaven completed significant upgrades to the Mount Sinai Harbor Shellfish Facility with funding provided by the NYS DEC and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Shellfish Expansion Program. Directed by Bay Management Specialist II Craig Strong, the Town was able to make much needed improvements to the facility including upgraded electrical supply, expanded seawater pumping, a new wave break and a new floating shellfish grow-out system that will supplement the existing land-based system. These improvements will allow the Town to grow and seed its bays and harbors with millions of oysters and clams for years to come. The program is managed by the Town’s Division of Environmental Protection. Pictured at left is Town of Brookhaven Environmental Aide Alex Kirsch alongside the new electrical system panel and pumps and at right, Environmental staff member Andrew Hochstrasser with a barrel sorter used for separating shellfish by size.
The shellfish seeding program is vital to the improvement of water quality by replenishing shellfish populations in surrounding waterways and sanctuaries on both the north and south shore. Bi-valve shellfish such as oysters and clams are filter feeders that help to clean water and improve the coastal environment. This year 275,000 oysters that were over-wintered have been distributed to our partners: The Coastal Steward, Friends of Bellport Bay, Moriches Bay Project, and the Stony Brook Yacht Club for grow out and 350,000 clams will be given directly to New York State’s expansion program. This month 1.5 million seed clams started the growing process in the on shore up-weller system, with 1.5 million oyster seed on the way. For more information about the Town’s environmental efforts, go to www.BrookhavenNY.gov.