Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Protecting Oyster Bay and Its Wildlife

A proposal to put 68 units of senior housing on a tract that overlooks the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge is attracting some attention on Long Island’s north shore. Friends of the Bay and its exec director, Kyle Rabin, are trying to persuade the town and the county to buy the land and protect it as open space.

The Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge surrounds Sagamore Hill, Theodore Roosevelt’s home. The NWR consists of 3000-plus acres of “of bay bottom and adjacent shoreline up to the mean high tide, plus the channels and marshes of Frost, Oak Neck, and Mill Neck Creeks.”

“Marine invertebrate and fish communities support a complex food web from waterfowl to fish-eating birds, to marine mammals. Waterfowl use of the Refuge peaks from October through April. Over 20,000 ducks have been documented on the refuge during one survey. Over 25 species of waterfowl, along with numerous other waterbirds, depend on Oyster Bay for survival. The most common marine mammals at the refuge are harbor seals - which have become more noticeable during recent years. Sea turtles and diamondback terrapins can also be sighted at the Refuge.”

I’ve never been there so it’s hard for me to speak definitively, but it sounds like a worthwhile preservation project.


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