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For Release: Monday, September 9, 2019

New York State Celebrates Second Annual Long Island Estuary Day on Sept. 14

DEC, DOS and Long Island Estuary Programs Kick Off National Estuaries Week and Celebrate Long Island's Unique Natural Resources

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and Department of State (DOS) Secretary of State Rossana Rosado today announced the second annual Long Island Estuary Day hosted by the Long Island Sound Study (LISS), South Shore Estuary Reserve (SSER), and Peconic Estuary Program (PEP), in partnership with The WaterFront Center, Friends of the Bay, and New York Sea Grant. The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Theodore Roosevelt Park, 25 West End Ave., Oyster Bay, NY. This event is free and open to the public.

This year's Estuary Day will focus on marine debris and its impacts on the environment. Leading by example, DEC and DOS will encourage the community, local businesses, and partners to implement environmentally sound practices to help ensure a clean and sustainable future.

A variety of family-friendly activities will take place throughout the day, including beach seining, beach combing, crafts, boating, and educational lectures about marine debris on Long Island. In addition, Friends of the Bay is hosting an organized beach cleanup from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Beekman Beach. Estuary Day guests can also join the Waterfront Center for a sail from 2 to 4 p.m.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "New York's estuaries are a critical part of the life cycle of many different species, providing a unique place for marine species to live, feed, and reproduce. Long Island Estuary Day is a great opportunity to highlight the State's ongoing efforts to preserve and protect these species by helping to educate the public and providing New Yorkers with a hands-on experience. We encourage Long Island residents to come out and enjoy a fun-filled day learning about New York's estuaries."

New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, Chair of the South Shore Estuary Reserve Council, said, "Long Island's shores and waterways are among New York's most valued treasures, attracting millions of visitors annually that support the Long Island economy. This event provides an opportunity for families across Long Island to learn about their local environment and ways they can help to protect it for future generations."

Director of the Peconic Estuary Program Joyce Novak said, "Estuary Day is a wonderful opportunity for the three Long Island programs to communicate the major water quality issues facing Long Island coastal waters, and the Peconic Estuary Program is delighted to be involved in its second year. The on-going development of solutions and bringing awareness to issues like marine debris in our waters is significant to the future of these waterbodies and Long Island communities. We are grateful to the Waterfront Center for hosting this event and we are looking forward to an educational and fun day!"

The event will kick off National Estuaries Week and celebrate the beauty and natural resources of Long Island's important estuaries. National Estuaries Week is a nationwide celebration of our bays and estuaries and the benefits they provide to local communities. Dozens of organizations throughout the country host events to celebrate National Estuaries Week. This year, National Estuaries Week takes place Sept. 14 - 21. Restore America's Estuaries, the Association of National Estuary Programs, and the National Estuarine Research Reserves Association partner together to promote National Estuaries Week across the U.S.

Organizations participating in this year's event include Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, U.S. Geological Survey, Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, Peconic Baykeeper, Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island, Coastal Steward Long Island, Group for the East End, Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor, Manhasset Bay Protection Committee, Cornell Cooperative Extension Nassau County, Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, Audubon New York, Town of Oyster Bay, and North Shore Audubon Society.

Additional information can be found on New York Sea Grant's 2019 Estuary Day website.

For social media posts please use #EstuaryDay and #EstuariesWeek.

The Long Island Sound Study was formed by Connecticut, New York, and the EPA in 1985. This is a bi-state partnership consisting of federal and state agencies, user groups, organizations and individuals dedicated to nitrogen reduction, habitat restoration, public involvement and education, and water quality monitoring.

In 1993, the Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Act (Act) was enacted to establish the Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve (Reserve) administered by New York State Department of State and the Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Council (Council) chaired by New York State Secretary of State and comprised of representatives from the State and local governments, non-profit and academic organizations and other local stakeholders focused on the preservation, protection and enhancement of the natural, recreational, economic and educational resources of the Reserve. The Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve is supported by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund.

The Peconic Estuary received designation as an "Estuary of National Significance" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992, and the Peconic Estuary Program, a collaborative partnership of local, state, and federal governments, citizens, environmental groups, businesses, industries, and academic institutions, was established. The Peconic Estuary Program is one of 28 National Estuary Programs around the country supported by the U.S. EPA's Clean Water Act.

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