Great South Bay

Great South Bay, actually a lagoon,[1] is situated between Long Island and Fire Island, in the State of New York. It is approximately 45 miles (72 km) long and protected from the Atlantic Ocean by Fire Island, a barrier island, as well as the eastern end of Jones Beach Island and Captree Island.

Robert Moses Causeway adjoins the Great South Bay Bridge, which leads to Robert Moses State Park.

Setting sun over Great South Bay
Sunset over the bay

The bay is accessible from the ocean through Fire Island Inlet, which lies between the western tip of Fire Island and the eastern tip of Jones Beach Island. The bay adjoins South Oyster Bay on its western end, and Patchogue and Moriches bays at the east end.

Wpdms ev26188 great south bay
Map showing the location of the Great South Bay


In the early 17th century, European settlers first encountered the native Meroke tribes. Among the earliest British families were the Smith, Carman and Hewlett families.[2] Long Island's South Shore, which includes Lindenhurst, Babylon, Islip, Oakdale, Sayville, Bayport, Blue Point, Patchogue, Bellport, Shirley, and Mastic Beach.

Environmental concerns

Diving off a deck into the Great South Bay of Long Island
A man dives into the Bay

In the late nineteenth century Great South Bay provided many of the clams consumed throughout the region and even the country. The first oysters to be exported from the US to Europe came from Great South Bay. By the latter 20th century, a significant percentage of the habitat was lost.[3] Recently the largest storm on record since 1938, Hurricane Sandy, made landfall with devastating impact to Fire Island sea shores, including multiple breaches. The largest forming just south of Bellport, Long Island. This was formerly known as Old Inlet. Residents were concerned it would have effects on tidal increases and potential flooding, when in actuality it has allowed the bay to relieve some of its captive water, which has changed the salinity and nitrogen levels in the bay.[4]The Bay has, after roughly 75 years, begun flushing itself out which may improve the water condition within the bay.[5] Regulations set forth by the US Government National Wildlife Preserve, which has a seven-mile stretch of land (The Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness) prohibit any unauthorized parties from performing any kind of man made changes, thus the inlet has remained open. There have been a number of ongoing public meeting discussing the future of the Inlet.[6] All the other breaches were closed by the Army Corps of Engineers. In 2012 The Save the Great South Bay (STBSB) not-for-profit organization was formed in order to work towards better conservation of the water and its beachfronts.[7][8]Save The Great South Bay has increased concerns about boat sewerage pumpouts in The Great South Bay as a serious ecological concern: Are Boaters Pumping or Dumping? STOP POO-LLUTION![9]

See also


  1. ^ Goodbred, Jr., S.; Locicero, P.; Bonvento, V.; Kolbe, S.; Holsinger, S. "History of the Great South Bay estuary: Evidence for a catastrophic origin" (PDF). State University of New York ( Retrieved 2013-10-02.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Andrea Schwalm (January 18, 2013). "New Fire Island Breach Could Be Beneficial Unless Government Fills It In". Wired. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  4. ^ Marshall Brown. "What Mother Nature and The New Inlet Can't Do — A Bay in Peril". Save The Great South Bay. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Lisa W. Foderaro (October 3, 2016). "On Fire Island, a Scar From Hurricane Sandy Is Seen as a Good Thing". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  7. ^ Will James (November 13, 2013). "On Long Island Coast, An Unexpected Gift From Hurricane Sandy". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  8. ^ Jason Atkinson (September 20, 2013). "Conservation's Radical Middle". HuffPost. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  9. ^ STGSB Founder Howard E Ryan. "Pumpouts in The Great South Bay: Are Boaters Pumping or Dumping? STOP POO-LLUTION!". Save the Great South Bay. Retrieved June 19, 2018.

External links

  • United By Water - It is no coincidence that The Great South Bay and the New York–New Jersey Harbor estuaries are home to one of the most vibrant and economically important metropolitan areas in the country and the world.
  • Back To Baysics - Great South Bay environmental awareness campaign
  • Great South Bay Project
  • Peconic Baykeepers The Waterkeeper Alliance Member for the Great South Bay
  • NOAA chart 12352

Coordinates: 40°41′25″N 73°06′07″W / 40.69028°N 73.10194°W

Babylon, New York

Babylon is one of ten towns in Suffolk County, New York, United States. Located on Long Island, the town population was 214,191 as of the 2014 census. Parts of Jones Beach Island, Captree Island and Fire Island are in the southernmost part of the town. It borders Nassau County to the West, and the Atlantic Ocean to the South. At its westernmost point, its location is approximately 20 miles (32 km) from New York City at the Queens border, and approximately 30 miles (48 km) from Manhattan. There is also a village of Babylon located within the town.

Bay Shore, New York

Bay Shore is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) in the Town of Islip, Suffolk County, New York, United States. It is situated on the South Shore of Long Island, adjoining the Great South Bay. In 2008, Bay Shore celebrated the 300th anniversary of the purchase of the land from the Secatogue Native Americans. The population of the CDP was 26,337 at the time of the 2010 census.

Captree State Park

Captree State Park is a 340-acre (1.4 km2) state park located in the towns of Babylon and Islip in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The park is located south of Captree Island on the easternmost end of Jones Beach Island, and overlooks the Fire Island Inlet and the westernmost section of Fire Island.Captree State Park can be accessed via the Robert Moses Causeway and the Ocean Parkway. The park primarily provides boating and fishing access to the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island's Great South Bay, and numerous charter boats are available for fishing excursions.

Cherry Grove, New York

Cherry Grove (often referred to locally as The Grove) is a hamlet in the Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, New York, United States. It is located on Fire Island, a barrier island separated from the southern side of Long Island by the Great South Bay. The hamlet has approximately 300 houses on 41 acres (170,000 m2), a summer seasonal population of 2,000 and a year-round population of 15.Cherry Grove, along with nearby Fire Island Pines, is considered one of the most popular lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)-accepting resort communities in the United States. The New York Times quoted one homeowner at Cherry Grove that, "this [is a] wonderful environment where you could be gay and open and hold hands and enjoy life...."In 2013, the Cherry Grove Community House and Theatre was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of only a few sites so far listed for their role in American LGBT history.

Fire Island Lighthouse

The Fire Island Lighthouse is a visible landmark on the Great South Bay, in southern Suffolk County, New York on the western end of Fire Island, a barrier island off the southern coast of Long Island. The lighthouse is located within Fire Island National Seashore and just to the east of Robert Moses State Park. It is part of the Fire Island Light Station which contains the light, keepers quarters, the lens building containing the original first-order Fresnel lens, and a boat house.

Fire Island National Seashore

Fire Island National Seashore (FINS) is a United States National Seashore that protects a 26-mile (42 km) section of Fire Island, an approximately 30-mile (48 km) long barrier island separated from Long Island by the Great South Bay. The island is part of New York State's Suffolk County.

There are 17 private communities within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore including Saltaire, Fire Island Pines, and Ocean Beach. Only two bridges lead to Fire Island and the national seashore and there are no public roads within the seashore itself. The Robert Moses Causeway leads to Robert Moses State Park on the western end of Fire Island while the William Floyd Parkway leads to the eastern end of the island. The seashore can also be accessed by private boat or by ferry from the communities of Patchogue, Sayville, and Bay Shore on Long Island.

Fire Island National Seashore was established as a unit of the National Park Service on September 11, 1964.A separate unit of Fire Island National Seashore located on Long Island protects the home and estate of William Floyd, an American Revolutionary War general and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The William Floyd House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located in Mastic Beach, New York.

Great South Bay Bridge

The Great South Bay Bridge is a bridge on the southwest side of Suffolk County, New York, on Long Island. It connects the Robert Moses Causeway from Long Island's mainland over the Great South Bay, connecting to both Captree and Jones Beach Island. It serves as access via the Robert Moses Causeway to both of the downstream crossings, the State Boat Channel Bridge and the Fire Island Inlet Bridge, also leading visitors and on-lookers to either the Fire Island Lighthouse or the Robert Moses State Park.

Heckscher State Park

Heckscher State Park is a 1,657-acre (6.71 km2) state park on the shore of the Great South Bay at East Islip in Suffolk County, New York, USA.

Michael LiPetri

Michael LiPetri (born July 10, 1990) is an attorney and politician from New York State, currently serving as a New York State Assemblyman from the 9th district. Located on the South Shore of Long Island, the district includes several communities including Massapequa, Massapequa Park and South Farmingdale in Nassau County and West Babylon, Babylon village, West Islip and part of Brightwaters in Suffolk County, as well as several barrier islands in the Great South Bay.LiPetri graduated from Albany Law School and was employed as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the New York City Law Department. Prior to his election to the assembly, he worked as a private attorney at Rivkin Radler, LLP. His grandfather, Angelo LiPetri was a pitcher for the Phillies during the 1950s.

In his first run for elected office, LiPietri defeated incumbent Democrat Christine Pellegrino 56% to 44%.

Moriches Bay

Moriches Bay ( (listen) moh-RITCH-iz) is a lagoon system on the south shore of Long Island, New York. The name Moriches comes from Meritces, a Native American who owned land on Moriches Neck.Two townships in Suffolk, New York (Brookhaven and the Southampton) share its shoreline.

Moriches Bay is east of the Mastic Narrows and Great South Bay and west of Shinnecock Bay. The bay is 62 miles (100 km) east of New York City.

Moriches Bay has a body of water of 9,480-acre (3,840 ha) of aquatic environment.

This includes Moneybogue Bay and Quantuck Bay, its salt marshes, dredged material islands, and intertidal flats.

This body of water is between the Outer barrier islands and Long Island mainland. Its flow comes from the Moriches and Shinnecock Inlets)

The western boundary of this bay is the Smith Point Bridge; the eastern boundary is the eastern edge of Quantuck Bay.

This bayside habitat includes the tidal creeks and marshes feeding into Moriches Bay from the Long Island mainland.

A thriving habitat off the Atlantic Ocean, the Moriches Bay is used by Long Islanders for local fishing.

It is a natural habitat for shellfish, migrating and wintering waterfowl, colonial nesting waterbirds, beach-nesting birds, migratory shorebirds, raptors, and rare plants.

The Great South Bay and Moriches Bay seabeds up to the barrier beach are owned by the towns through a grant by the British monarch long before the existence of the United States. It has been repeatedly adjudicated (even to the U.S. Supreme Court) that the land grants in the Dongan (Governor of New York) patents (Islip, Brookhaven, Southampton and East Hampton Towns,1686) are valid. However, since 1968 the federal government has been attempting to take title of and lay claim to, by adverse possession, the bay bottoms of Islip and Brookhaven towns extending outward from the barrier beach.

Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness

The Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness, also known as the Otis G. Pike Wilderness Area or the Fire Island Wilderness, is a federally protected wilderness area located on Fire Island, a barrier island off the south shore of Long Island, New York, United States. The 1,380-acre (5.6 km2; 2.16 sq mi) wilderness is contained within the larger Fire Island National Seashore.The wilderness area, named for former New York congressman Otis G. Pike, is the only federally designated wilderness area in New York State, and one of the smallest wilderness areas managed by the National Park Service.

Outer Barrier

The Outer Barrier, also known as the Long Island and New York City barrier islands, refers to the string of barrier islands that divide the lagoons south of Long Island, New York from the Atlantic Ocean. These islands include Coney Island, Long Beach Barrier Island, Island Park, Jones Beach Island, Fire Island and Westhampton Island. The outer barrier extends 75 miles (121 km) along the South Shore of Long Island, from the Rockaway Peninsula in New York City to the east end of Shinnecock Bay in Suffolk County.

The lagoons enclosed by the barrier islands are Jamaica Bay, Brosewere Bay, Hewlett Bay, Reynolds Channel, Middle Bay, East Bay, South Oyster Bay, Great South Bay, and arms of the Great South Bay that have their own geographic names: Great Cove, Nicoll Bay, Patchogue Bay, Bellport Bay, Narrow Bay, Moriches Bay, Quantuck Bay, Tiana Bay, and Shinnecock Bay. East Rockaway Inlet, Jones Inlet, Fire Island Inlet, Old Inlet, Moriches Inlet, and Shinnecock Inlet pierce the barrier, forming the individual sandy islands. The resort communities of Atlantic Beach, Long Beach, and Westhampton Beach; the Fire Island National Seashore, Robert Moses State Park, Jones Beach State Park, and other recreational areas are found there. The low-lying islands are subject to wave erosion, and, during storms, they are sometimes inundated and cut through.

Patchogue, New York

Patchogue (, PATCH-awg) is a village on the south shore of Long Island in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The population was 11,798 at the time of the 2010 census. Patchogue is part of the town of Brookhaven, on the South Shore of Long Island, adjoining Great South Bay. It is officially known as the Incorporated Village of Patchogue.

Robert Moses Causeway

The Robert Moses Causeway is an 8.10-mile (13.04 km)-long parkway in Suffolk County, New York, in the United States. The parkway, originally known as the Captree Causeway, connects West Islip on Long Island to the barrier beach islands, such as Captree Island, Jones Beach Island, and the western tip of Fire Island, to the south. It is designated New York State Route 908J (NY 908J), an unsigned reference route. Except south of NY 27A, the road, like most parkways in New York State, is limited to non-commercial traffic.

Robert Moses State Park (Long Island)

Robert Moses State Park - Long Island is a 875-acre (3.54 km2) state park in southern Suffolk County, New York. The park lies on the western end of Fire Island, one of the central barrier islands off the southern coast of Long Island, and is known for its five-mile (8.0 km) stretch of beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. The park is accessible from Long Island by the Robert Moses Causeway across Great South Bay.

Established as Fire Island State Park in 1908, the park is the oldest state park on Long Island. Its current name was given to honor Robert Moses, the influential mid-20th century urban planner and former president of the Long Island State Park Commission.

Sayville National Wildlife Refuge

The Sayville National Wildlife Refuge is a 127-acre (51 ha) National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) located in West Sayville, New York about two miles (3.2 km) inland from the Great South Bay. Sayville NWR is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a sub-unit of Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge and part of the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex. It is the only land-locked refuge in the complex.

Sayville consists primarily of oak-pitch pine forests interspersed with grasslands. This sub-unit supports a diversity of migratory songbirds and raptors. The refuge contains the largest population of sandplain gerardia (a federally endangered plant) in the state of New York. Management activities focus on protecting and enhancing habitat for this endangered plant and for migratory birds.

Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge

Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge is located in the hamlet of Islip, New York, on the south shore of Long Island. It is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The refuge consists of 196 acres (0.79 km2) bordering the Great South Bay, separated from the Atlantic Ocean only by Fire Island. Situated in a heavily developed urban area along Champlin Creek, the refuge is an oasis for many species of migratory birds and waterfowl.

Approximately one half of the refuge consists of tidal marsh, which serves a vast number of waterfowl in the winter months. The refuge attracts waterbirds, white-tailed deer, red fox, and migratory songbirds and raptors. The refuge has been classified as part of the larger Great South Bay, a significant coastal habitat. Management activities include forest and grassland protection and management, wetland restoration, wildlife nesting structure maintenance, and habitat restoration.

South Oyster Bay

South Oyster Bay or East Bay is a natural harbor along the western portion of the south shore of Long Island in New York in the United States. The harbor is formed by Jones Beach Island, a barrier island on the southern side of Long Island. It is approximately 3 mi (5 km) wide between the two islands, and approximately 15 mi (24 km) long. It links to Great South Bay on its eastern end and opens to the Atlantic Ocean through inlets on either side of Jones Beach Island.

The name refers to its history as one of the finest oyster beds in the world.

Watch Hill (New York)

Watch Hill is a campground and marina located on Fire Island, a barrier island off the south shore of New York's Long Island. The park is located across the Great South Bay from Patchogue and is contained within the Fire Island National Seashore.Watch Hill is located on the western edge of the 1,363-acre (5.52 km2) Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness, the only federally designated wilderness area in the State of New York, containing a variety of barrier island ecosystems in relatively undisturbed condition.



This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.