Activities & Accomplishments

Outreach and Education

  • Continued popular North Shore Oyster Gardening program attracting numerous additional grant proposals and research.



      • Raise awareness of and address local water quality issues by engaging 100+ gardeners including scouts, students, yacht and garden clubs, church groups and service organizations
      • 100% of participants surveyed in previous years felt more knowledgeable and connected to their local waters.
      • Only sustainable program in the harbor complex to support the return of the oyster population, which is currently <1% of its former levels, thanks to restrictions on harvest in the Town of Oyster Bay Cold Spring Harbor Spawner Sanctuary. Recent Town of Oyster Bay assessment of spawner sanctuary noted:
        • “Substantial population of oysters is present” - planting has created a significant population where there were few oysters present before.
        • “The establishment and maintenance of one or more oyster sanctuaries in the harbor is expected to have long-term benefits on shellfish populations throughout the harbor, as well as associated benefits to water quality and ecology of the harbor.”
      • North Shore Oyster Gardening program “spawned” similar programs in 2022 to the west in Hempstead Harbor by the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor and to the east by in Huntington/Northport Harbor Complex by Cornell Cooperative Extension and Huntington Rotary Club. Nassau County Cornell Cooperative Extension was awarded a $250,000 LIS Futures Fund grant to support additional oyster gardening programs.


Attracting Research & Restoration

  • Friends of the Bay received a 2021 Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant entitled Oyster Habitat Restoration and Monitoring Utilizing Spawner Sanctuaries in Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harborto assess the Cold Spring Harbor Spawner Sanctuary and identify suitable locations for other shellfish sanctuaries in the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor complex. Anticipated completion December 2023.
  • Advocate and facilitate the Town of Oyster Bay codifying spawner sanctuaries by providing sample language and case studies from other successful shellfish restorations. This would enable implementation of spawner sanctuaries identified in sanctuaries grant. Anticipate Town Board approval winter 2023-24.
  • Stony Brook University in partnership with the Town of Oyster Bay, Adelphi University, Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee, and Friends of the Bay received a three-year $477,000 Putting the Oyster Back in Oyster Bay: A Metapopulation Approach 2023 Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant.
  • Supplied letters of support for Town of Oyster Bay’s 2023 Long Island Sound Futures Fund grant applications Integrating Community-Driven Green Infrastructure Plans for Impact: Enhancing Oyster Bay Harbor's Water Quality and Coastal Resilience  and A Socio-ecological Approach for Healthy Ecosystems: Working with Nature through Collaboration and Community Engagement. Also contacted for support of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County’s grant to pilot additional community oyster gardening and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s production of spat on shell oysters for restoration.
  • Supported NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Milford (CT) Lab’s multi-year study, begun in 2023, evaluating the health and reproductive success of natural and restored oyster beds in Long Island Sound. The Town of Oyster Bay Conservation Management Area #2 (de facto spawner sanctuary) is one of only three oyster populations included in this Long Island Sound wide study whose intention is to better understand the habitat-specific factors that affect population health and disease progression in unmanaged oyster populations. This knowledge will be applied to restoration and aquaculture planning to promote the sustainable growth of healthy oyster populations across sectors.
  • Participated in the $300,000 US EPA North Shore Shellfish Seeding Grant funded by a member item from Congressman Suozzi and led by Eric Swenson this will enable Manhasset Bay, Hempstead Harbor and Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor to determine how to utilize $100,000 of shellfish seed over the next several years to support sustainable populations in their waters.  
  • Provide technical review of the Town of Oyster Bay’sGuidance Document for Restoration of Shellfish Resources
  • Support Friend of the Bay and the Town of Oyster Bay’s efforts to ensure Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor are part of The Pew Charitable Trust and The Nature Conservancy’s Supporting Oyster Aquaculture and Restoration 2.0. Anticipate ~$100,000 in adult broodstock and technical support.



Supporting Water Quality

  • Support Friends of the Bay’s Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program ($5,000 annually) and participation in the Unified Sound Wide monitoring program which added nitrogen testing in 2023.
  • Promoted Nassau SEPTIC Program delivery supported by North Shore Land Alliance and Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District.
  • Encouraged the Town of Huntington and Suffolk County to address the long ignored human waste entering Cold Spring Harbor via Outfall #273. 
  • Working with the Village of Bayville and engineering firm H2M to submit grants to conduct a feasibility and engineering study to connect “The Stands” commercial district to the Glen Cove Sewage Treatment Plant.



    • Suffolk County applied for a Suffolk County Water Quality Improvement grant to identify the source of the bacterial contamination in Outfall #273. Concurrently Friends of the Bay initiated a campaign to raise awareness and encourage action on Outfall #273.
    • Cornell Cooperative Extension awarded additional Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District Part C grant to perform Initial Characterization and Management of Pathogens Affecting Sanitary Condition of Shellfish Lands in the Oyster Bay-Cold Spring Harbor Complex. The analysis detailed ways to identify long ignored sources of pollution in Cold Spring Harbor and highlighted testing needed to upgrade Mill Neck Creek shellfish beds.
    • Bayville residents submitted most applications for SEPTIC grants.
    • The Incorporated Village of Oyster Bay Cove, an Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee member, became the first local government in Nassau County to amend village code to require advanced onsite wastewater treatment systems for new or substantially renovated homes. This effort is being watched as a model for many other villages in the Protection Committee.



Assisting MS4 Phase II Stormwater Compliance

  • Provide guidance and assistance to member municipalities in carrying out the federal and state-mandated Phase II Stormwater permit requirements including rescinding shellfish pathogen TMDL.
  •  Provide annual report to member municipalities detailing MS4 activities in a format that can easily be adapted to meet the State’s requirements.
  •  Reviewed new 2024 – 2029 General Permit.



    • Save municipal members time and money toward compliance as many of the activities (i.e. septic system education, geese and pet waste management, oyster gardening outreach/stewardship activities) undertaken by the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee are counted toward each municipalities’ Phase II stormwater compliance requirements.
    • NYS DEC new MS4 general permit reflects extensive comments provided by OB/CSH Protection Committee and many others.


 Monitoring of Legislation, Regulations and Related Issues

  • Scanning and monitoring potential environmental issues important to local governments including:
    • Long Island Sound Study
    • Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan
    • Suffolk County Subwatersheds Wastewater/9E Plan
    • Nassau County 9E Plan
    • Ocean Acidification Task Force
    • Groundwater issues



  • Protection Committee can play a significant role in success of Nassau County 9E Watershed plan, particularly:
  • Supporting adoption of I/A onsite wastewater treatment systems
  • Outreach and education for fertilizer reduction
  • Implementing Bionutrient extraction via oyster aquaculture and kelp