Sometimes, you just have to get out of the office, and renew yourself by enjoying the habitat you are working to preserve.  Curt Johnson, Senior Attorney and Program Director of Save the Sound was doing just that this past week, sailing around the Sound and visiting harbors and bays he doesn’t normally get to see.  Curt is also co-chair of the Long Island Sound Study Citizens Advisory Committee.  Friends of the Bay is a member of that committee.  The members of the CAC work to better the environmental conditions of the Sound and its embayments.

On Thursday, Curt made his way to Oyster Bay to enjoy our waters. As Curt sailed in on Wednesday night, he got to see just some of the racing sailing that goes on here.  (And if anyone sailing was wondering who was that guy in the Rhodes 19, now you know!).  I went to meet him near Roosevelt Beach, on a beautiful but windless Thursday morning.  We motored over by the WaterFront Center so Curt could see the Christeen, and take a look at Beeman Beach and the Mill River outfall, where Friends of the Bay is planning a restoration project.  Next we went to visit Flowers Oyster Hatchery.  As luck would have it, Dave Relyea was just heading out to spread oysters as we arrived.  After transferring boats, we headed out towards Cold Spring Harbor.

On the way we pointed out the sights of the harbor, and discussed some of the issues confronting the harbor and the Sound – nitrogen pollution, contaminated stormwater, plastic pollution and the current closure of the harbor to oyster harvesting due to the presence of Vibrio.  These are issues which affect all the Sound and its embayments.  Each embayment has its own unique issues – whether due to geography, sewage contamination, or industrial development, and each has to be monitored and protected.

On the way back, we met Jim Moriarty of the Town of Oyster Bay, doing maintenance on one of the Town boats.  I don’t think he expected to see us in the middle of Oyster Bay harbor!  We all agreed that this kind of informal tour is very valuable, not only to be able to have a better understanding of the environmental issues, but also to renew appreciation for just how beautiful Oyster Bay and the Sound are.

A quick update on the juvenile bald eagles which were rescued in early July in our area. The one recovered by Volunteers for Wildlife from Bayville has recovered and was released at Sagamore Hill.  The other eagle, which was rescued by Mitch Kramer of Tow Boat US from Long Island Sound is still at the Raptor Trust, being treated for Avian Pox.  He is doing well, and he will hopefully be released back into the wild in a couple of weeks.  These juveniles do not have the distinctive white head yet, so if you see an unusually large dark bird, it may be a bald eagle.  There have been reports of adult eagles in the area, especially near Sagamore Hill, and near Peacock Point.