Great South Bay, The
In its heyday, the Great South Bay provided a bounty of hard clams for the nation's table, income for a crusty crew of baymen, and recreation to countless New York City visitors escaping hot summer days in the city. What does the Bay offer today, after years of taking resources from the area and dumping back unwanted materials and wastes?
The authors of The Great South Bay examine the geological origins and evolution of this important coastal water body. The book details the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics that make the Bay one of the most productive bodies of water in the world. It searches history for evidence of the first assaults on the Bay by man's early Long Island industries, from duck farms through today's stress, mainly coastal housing development. The policies that have contributed to the present conflicts of uses are also examined: people's insistence on building at the shoreline, the resulting pollution, and the persistent notion that the Bay's bounty and natural beauty should persist despite development. Additionally, it presents plans for management that offer hope for the Bay's survival.
The Great South Bay offers a case study of a classic bay system bounded by a barrier beach and having restricted flow through barrier island outlets. It provides an overview of how the Bay was formed; how hurricanes, tides and general weather conditions affect it; how its sea grass beds serve as protective nursery grounds for juvenile shellfish; how harvesting of oysters and clams has changed over the years and how these human exploits have affected the area's productivity and its prognosis for a healthy future.
J. R. Schubel is Dean and Director of the State University of New York at Stony Brook's Marine Sciences Research Center and Leading Professor of Marine Sciences. He is a member of the National Research Council's Marine Board, the Board of Directors of the Marine Division of the National Association of State University and Land Grant Colleges, and past president of the Estuarine Research Federation. Also at Stony Brook's Marine Sciences Research Center. H. H. Carter is Professor Emeritus. T. M. Bell is Editorial Associate.