Restoration of the Shellfisher Preserve
It is the Peconic Land Trust’s intention to restore the historic and irreplaceable mariculture facilities at Shellfisher Preserve in order to enable their use for research, education, and the support of the shellfishing industry on Eastern Long Island. In this effort, the Trust has been working effectively for several years in partnership with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program to help manage the Preserve and its restoration.
Much of the restoration activities have been made possible through a generous donation by the NationalGrid (formerly KeySpan) Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Rural Development. Renovations to the unique greenhouse structure began in November, 2006. This renovation, funded by KeySpan Foundation and the USDA, involved replacing the old 144 foot long structure, repairing the bulkhead and deepening 150 feet of creek that runs under this structure.
The Trust is also partnering with the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative, a shellfish grower’s cooperative comprised of small-scale shellfishing businesses, which together have formed a successful, vertically integrated shellfish cultivation and marketing company, based in Noank, Connecticut. The mission of the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative is to augment the development of environmentally responsible small-scale shellfish farms in partnership with community groups and other non-profits to promote an understanding of shellfishing and the health of the estuaries upon which shellfishing depends. The development of a similar cooperative model for our Shellfisher Preserve will help preserve the East End’s shellfishing heritage. The Noank Aquaculture Cooperative members began renovating the old underground hatchery in 2004. The project was completed in 2006. This facility houses a hatchery for small shellfish and has a greenhouse above it which is used to supply algae (food) to the newborn bivalves.
The Peconic Land Trust looks forward to the completion of these renovations so that Shellfisher Preserve can function much as it did 40 years ago. We look forward to the development of programs based at this facility that will benefit the community and the bay system that surrounds it.
Below is a slideshow showing the construction of the new barn at Shellfisher Preserve.