News Flash


Posted on: March 5, 2021

Town Secures North American Wetlands Conservation Act Grant to Restore Tern Nesting Habitat

Town Seal

Farmingville, NY – On March 5, Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilman Dan Panico announced that the Town of Brookhaven has secured a $26,607 North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Grant to help restore the tern nesting habitat on Carter’s Island. The island is located within the narrows between Mastic Beach and Fire Island. It is one of several on the south shore that are important seabird rookeries, but invasive plants (e.g. phragmites) are encroaching into and reducing the size of good tern nesting habitat. This federal grant will help pay to restore the habitat, remove phragmites and install nesting boxes for Roseate Terns, a federally endangered species. Gulls are also forcing terns to nest in suboptimal habitats and this project will help to prevent them from nesting in locations close to where the tern nests are located. The long-term goal of this project is to create thriving nesting colonies of Roseate, Common and Least Terns. South Shore Estuary Reserve staff will assist during the project while Seatuck Environmental Association has agreed to count tern numbers before and after habitat restoration. Pictured at left is Carter’s Island and pictured at right is a tern nest on the island.

The Town is partnering with Audubon New York to help remove the invasive plants and build the nesting boxes. In addition to the NAWCA grant, Audubon New York will provide $2,575 toward funding the $136,070 project. The field work will start in September 2021, after the April to August seabird nesting season.

Supervisor Romaine said, “Protecting the tern habitat on Carter’s Island is vital to the ecology of the waterways and wetlands along the south shore. I thank the Town’s Division of Environmental Protection for their efforts to restore an environment that will encourage tern nesting. This project is a perfect example of their commitment to the future of the wildlife population in Brookhaven Town.”

Councilman Panico said, “The Town’s commitment to the environment and our wildlife is strong. Our partnership with a wide array of organizations enables us to work with collaboratively to make our resources go further.”

Carters Island

Tern Nest on Carters Island

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