Farmingville, NY – Supervisor Ed Romaine has announced that the Town of Brookhaven was recently awarded a Long Island Sound Futures Fund (LISFF) grant to investigate the potential of using oysters to improve water quality in the Long Island Sound. The LISFF grant amount is $79,640 with a Town of Brookhaven match of $87,500. The oysters will be used to remove aqueous pollutants like nitrogen and suspended sediment, and to examine if planted oysters can reseed natural/depleted populations. This 2021 LISFF grant is an extension of the Town's 2019 LISFF oyster grant, which was a great success. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Long Island Sound Futures Fund supports projects to fully restore the health and living resources of Long Island Sound. It operates within a partnership of federal and state agencies, foundations, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, user groups, and individuals dedicated to restoring and protecting the Sound. This LISFF grant fosters collaboration between the Town and Stony Brook University as the project will help support a graduate student to do the field, diving and analytical work. Pictured at left are Supervisor Romaine and Councilwoman Jane Bonner with oysters raised at the Town’s Mariculture Facility at Mount Sinai Harbor. Pictured at right are planted oysters in cages.In making the announcement, Supervisor Romaine said, “I thank the LISFF for this generous grant to help keep our harbors and waterways clean. The Town is committed to this effort and I commend our Division of Environmental Protection and Harbor Management team for taking the lead on this very important project.”Councilwoman Bonner said, “Oysters play a major role in keeping our waterways clean and reversing the damage done by years of over-harvesting, neglect and pollution. They are part of a natural plan to filter the water and keep it clean for years to come. Thanks to the LISFF grant, the Town’s Mariculture Center will continue to provide the oysters needed to continue our efforts.”Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, whose district includes Port Jefferson Harbor said, “Thank you LISFF for furthering collaboration between the Town of Brookhaven and the pride of our community, Stony Brook University. The grant will help leverage the talent and ingenuity of SBU along with the dedicated professionals of the town's mariculture facility and harbor management team. Together we can give Mother Nature a helping hand in restoring balance and protecting our delicate marine environment.”Setauket Harbor Task Force Trustee, George Hoffman said, "We are pleased to learn that the Town of Brookhaven included Setauket Harbor and Conscience Bay as part of its Long Island Sound Study grant for spawning and seeding oysters in Port Jefferson harbor. Oysters have an extraordinary ability to filter water and remove excess nitrogen and C02 from harbor waters. Shellfish harvesting has been restricted in most of Setauket Harbor since the early 2000’s and our task force has been working to open up the harbor for shellfishing. The Town and LISS's oyster program will help in that goal. We thank the Town for being such a strong environmental partner with organizations like Setauket Harbor Task Force."Although analytical results are still preliminary, some highlights from the 2019 project include:
Like the LISFF 2019 project, the 2021 grant fosters collaboration between the Town and Stony Brook University as the project will help a Brookhaven graduate student gain valuable experience in ecological science.