Construction has begun on a marsh restoration project at Fireplace Neck Tidal Wetlands in the town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County on Long Island. In coordination with New York State Office of General Services (OGS), DEC will complete the nearly $1.7-million restoration project to help stabilize the marsh system, improve ecological functions, and create a more resilient marsh prepared for the effects of climate change and global sea level rise.
Fireplace Neck Tidal Wetland Area is a 108-acre salt marsh located on Long Island’s south shore, adjacent to Bellport Bay. Historical marsh development and vegetation degradation in the early 20th Century altered the natural flow of water and sediments in the wetland. Habitat loss and the conversion of dry high-marsh habitat into low-marsh mudflats has contributed to a less resilient coastline that faces growing threats from extreme weather events and sea level rise.
Construction has been funded through the Ocean and Great Lakes Fund and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants program. The wetland area is closed to public access for the duration of the restoration project.
Construction is expected to be completed by April 2023. Waterfowl hunting opportunities along the Bellport Bay shoreline will still be allowed provided hunting activities are conducted over Bellport Bay only. For more information about tidal marshes on Long Island, visit this DEC website.
Map of Fireplace Neck Tidal Wetland Area courtesy DEC.