Chronology of Achievement

Since 1987 Friends of the Bay has worked to protect, preserve and restore the Oyster Bay / Cold Spring Harbor estuary and watershed. 


  • We began monthly cleanups on a brisk weekend in February with a stalwart group of 15 volunteers. Since then, we have partnered with The WaterFront Center, the Oyster Bay Main Street Association, Lessing’s Hospitality and, for our first underwater cleanup, The Long Island Divers Association.  Harbor and Beach CleanUps, co-hosted by the Town of Oyster Bay, North Oyster Bay Baymen’s Association and Friends of the Bay, were held in April and September.
  • We worked with the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee and the town to establish three bay management areas in the estuary, which was approved by the town board on July 30.
  • We signed on to a letter with other advocacy groups to the governor requesting that the FY2019 budget include funds for additional certified shellfish laboratories on Long Island. We added our name to the Herring Alliance’s letter in support of the Forage Fish Conservation Act.  In addition, we signed on to the following bills: S.5343 to ban the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos; a bill banning polystyrene foam packaging in Nassau county, which passed; A. 6295/S.4389B to remove 1,4 dioxane from common household products; A. 4666/S. 5612 to include class C and D waterways as “protected streams” which would allow for their protection under state regulations.  We sent letters to local mayors, Legislators Lafazan and Deriggi-Whitton and Town Supervisor Saladino regarding banning the intentional release of lighter-than-air balloons to keep them from endangering marine life.
  • Outreach programs included presentations at the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum and Education Center, the Syosset Woodbury Rotary Club and, for the shellfish gardening program, at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Our free Speaker Series lectures ran the gamut from goatsuckers, native plants, coastal adaptation, restoring native fish populations to unregulated chemicals in drinking water, Long Island’s maritime history and living with wildlife on Long Island.
  • In September, we partnered with The WaterFront Center and New York Sea Grant for Estuary Day co-hosted by the Long Island Sound Study (LISS), South Shore Estuary Reserve (SSER), and Peconic Estuary Program (PEP). This year’s theme was marine debris.  We participated in the Oyster Festival and managed the Waterfront Experience section for it, which included around a dozen other environmental groups.
  • We have responded to numerous resident inquiries ranging from parking on wetlands to coyote sightings to tide gate issues. We have connected residents to the proper organization/authority, e.g. NYSDEC or Nassau County Soil & Water Conservation District.
  • We participated in press conferences including one organized by Senator Gaughran for the shellfish gardening program and by Town of Hempstead Supervisor Gillen for an intentional balloon release ban. We also attended a handful of press conferences by the governor.
  • We hosted seven interns here this year – four from local high schools and three college students. They engaged in water quality monitoring, entering data, research, and designing raingardens.
  • We held four fundraisers, the most important being Launch the Season, which once again was a fruitful event. Our Float Our Boat fundraiser helped build the coffers to buy a used 25-foot Parker cuddy cabin boat usable in rougher conditions, which was one of the highlights of the year.
  • We helped Hofstra University maintain the camera installed at the fish ladder at Beaver Dam Lake and worked on alewife monitoring there for DEC.
  • For the third year in a row, FOB handled the administrative portion of the community shellfish garden program.
  • We welcomed two new board members and reorganized and added to our Advisory Board.


  • FOB joined the board of the Coalition Against an UnSound Crossing, which was instrumental in influencing the governor to drop his proposal to build a tunnel from Long Island to Westchester.
  • Welcomed five new members to the Board of Trustees.
  • Our Speaker Series has been revived and we offered talks on topics ranging from bay-friendly homes to the conservation legacy of Theodore Roosevelt to rain gardens, all at no or little cost.
  • Participated in the Unified Water Study for the second year in a row.
  • Supported the Shellfish Garden in Laurel Hollow again with the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee, the Village of Laurel Hollow, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the towns of Oyster Bay and Huntington and The Waterfront Center.  


  • After many years of work by numerous organizations, the Beaver Dam Fish Passage was finally completed in August. The project will allow migratory river herring access to vital freshwater spawning habitat. The Nature Conservancy managed the project, along with partners Friends of the Bay, Village of Mill Neck, NYSDEC, Trout Unlimited, Hofstra University, CT DEEP, the North Shore Wildlife Sanctuary, Long Island Sound Futures Fund, and others.
  • Participated in the Unified Water Study, a Save the Sound program, for the first year of its inception.
  • Collaborated on the Shellfish Garden with the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee, the Village of Laurel Hollow, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the towns of Oyster Bay and Huntington, The Waterfront Center and the North Oyster Bay Baymen’s Association. One of the goals of the project was to utilize the historically significant, naturally-filtering oysters to increase awareness of the importance of water quality in Cold Spring Harbor. 


  • Started an active campaign opposing a proposed construction of a bridge crossing from Long Island to Westchester or Connecticut.


  • Friends of the Bay assisted The Nature Conservancy with funding to start plans for the Fish Passage at Beaver in 2015.


  • Co-hosted a Water Quality Symposium for elected and appointed officials at LIU Post.  Co-hosts were North Shore Land Alliance and the Nature Conservancy. 
  • Awarded a grant for $42,000 from the Mattiace restoration fund to restore the exposed portion of Beekman Creek. 


  • FOB partnered with the Town of Oyster Bay, Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District, Hempstead Harbor and Oyster Bay / Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committees, Sustainable Long Island, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to build a raingarden in front of the WaterFront Center.


  • Friends of the Bay was voted as one of the Best Environmental Organizations on Long Island by readers of the Long Island Press in 2012 for the third time. 
  • Our Watershed Action Plan was featured in the EcoCentric Blog as an “Heroic Endeavor,” which was picked up by the Huffington Post.   
  • The Town of Oyster Bay received a grant as the lead agency for an unprecedented partnership between three Long Island watershed protection committees, Manhasset Bay, Hempstead Harbor, and Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor, and Friends of The Bay to implement the Coordinated Environmental Solutions for Septic Problems Occurring on Long Island (CESSPOOL) project.


  • Long Island Sound declared a No Discharge Zone
  • FOB Executive Director featured on Verizon Fios Push Pause TV
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reopens Turtle Cove to shellfishing.
  • FOB nominated for Region 2 Environmental Quality Awards
  • FOB Executive Director named Ecocentric Hero of the Week by GRACE Communications Foundation
  • Town of Oyster Bay receives grant to fund formation of Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee, one of the top ten priority actions of the Watershed Action Plan.
  • Mill Pond Habitat Management Plan presented to the public at FOB offices.
  • First meeting of the Steering Committee for Watershed Action Plan held at Oyster Bay High School, over 50 people attend.
  • FOB assists in removing 24,000 pounds of invasive water chestnut from the Mill Pond in Oyster Bay.
  • FOB announces Completion of Watershed Action Plan.
  • FOB awarded grants by Long Island Sound Futures Fund for phase one of the restoration of Mill River-Beekman Creek, and preparation of the 2010 annual water quality report.


  • Town of Oyster Bay received a grant for the planning of a Blueway Trail which will extend from Hempstead Harbor though Oyster Bay and into Cold Spring Harbor. Friends of the Bay had urged the development of the trail and formed a steering committee. The Blueway Trail is one of the top ten priority actions in the Watershed Action Plan.


  • FOB finalized the State of the Watershed Report and presented it to the public.  The State of the Watershed Report, prepared by Fuss & O’Neill, is a comprehensive assessment of all the existing environmental and land use conditions in the watershed. 
  • FOB awarded Environmental Quality Award by the US Environmental Protection Agency for its water quality monitoring program.
  • Friends of the Bay attended groundbreaking ceremony at “The Birches” with NY State Senator Charles Schumer, Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi and legislator Diane Yatauro.


  • Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor complex designated a Federal No Discharge Zone.
  • FOB honored Congressman Lester Wolff at Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club.
  • FOB assisted in removal of invasive water chestnuts from the Mill Pond in Oyster Bay.
  • Town of Oyster Bay Town Board voted to approve agreement between the Town of Oyster Bay and Nassau County to connect the development known as “The Birches” to a sewage treatment plant in Glen Cove.
  • FOB again named One of the Best Environmental Groups on Long Island by readers of the Long Island Press.


  • FOB awarded grant from the Long Island Sound Futures Fund to develop a Watershed Management Plan for the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Estuary and Watershed.
  • FOB became a member of the Eastern Waterfront Visioning Steering Committee.


  • FOB named one of the Best Environmental Groups on Long Island by readers of the Long Island Press.
  • FOB received $36,000 grant to upgrade and expand its water quality monitoring program.  FOB also was a partner on grants for a Fish Passage Assessment Project (Long Island Trout Unlimited and Environmental Defense), West Shore Road Stormwater Demonstration Project (Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District) and a No Discharge Zone Information and Education Program (Town of Oyster Bay)
  • FOB worked with Boy Scout Troop 253 and the Town of Oyster Bay to place storm drain markers in the hamlet of Oyster Bay to remind residents that whatever goes into storm drains will make its way into harbor waters.
  • FOB appointed by the Town of Oyster Bay to committee to oversee development of a management plan for the Mill Pond Overlook Property.
  • Avalon Bay’s proposal denied by Town of Oyster Bay.  FOB spoke out against the project due to concerns about the negative impact on the harbor from possible sewage overflows and the precedent setting change of zoning applications.
  • The Town of Oyster Bay acquiresd the Mill Pond Overlook property which FOB had nominated through the Town’s environmental bond program.


  • The Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge is selected by Defenders of Wildlife as one of 2005’s ten most threatened refuges in the country due to threats from sewage overflows and unsustainable development.
  • FOB launched a campaign to protect the Mill Pond Watershed; FOB along with local residents and other groups created a coalition to protect the Watershed from such threats as irresponsible development.


  • FOB protested the proposal to dump dredged material into Long Island Sound; FOB critiqued several development proposals including Avalon Bay’s plan to construct a 300-unit apartment complex.


  • FOB, in conjunction with the Town of Oyster Bay, was awarded a State Environmental Protection Fund grant to perform outreach and education regarding the Mill River Watershed Study and Public Stewardship Program.


  • FOB launched an education campaign promoting the use of “bilge socks” in boats with inboard motors, FOB distributes nearly 500 bilge socks.
  • FOB expanded water quality monitoring program to include testing for nitrogen levels.


  • FOB obtained $90,000 from private and government sources for tidal wetland restoration project on Centre Island with a unique tide gate.
  • FOB added 12 water quality monitoring sites in Mill Neck Creek to assist the Village of Bayville with data collection needed for its assessment of the water quality impact associated with septic systems.
  • FOB hosted the First Annual Bay Day – a community festival at the Western Waterfront; Water quality monitoring extended to Mill Neck Creek.


  • FOB Director named Chair of Town committee for the revitalization of downtown Oyster Bay.
  • FOB awarded Environmental Protection Agency grant to conduct education campaign about residential wastewater systems and their impact on Mill Neck Creek; Center for Marine Education and Recreation is created as a separate entity to promote the implementation of the WaterFront Center.


  • FOB hired an environmental analyst and launched a volunteer water quality monitoring program; work began on the Western Waterfront.


  • Governor Pataki, joined by Senator Marcellino, Friends of the Bay and others, announced $2.3 million for the Western Waterfront.
  • The Town of Oyster Bay Town Board approved plan for the Western Waterfront that includes a community park, marine education center and wetland restoration.


  • The Town of Oyster Bay and New York State jointly acquire Jakobson Shipyard.


  • FOB brought oyster sloop Christeen back to Oyster Bay (now linked to the WaterFront Center).


  • The owners of the Jakobson Shipyard filed for de-listing from the NYS Hazardous Waste Registry, after more than 20,000 tons of soil on land and 11,700 tons of underwater sediment are removed.


  • Senator Marino announced that state money is available for the purchase of the shipyard, when cleanup is completed.


  • Town of Oyster Bay purchased the 2.26 acre Capone Property.


  • Town of Oyster Bay rejected re-zoning application and supported acquisition of shipyard as recommended by FOB; New York State Senator Ralph Marino and TOB Supervisor Angelo Deligatti announced their support for the acquisition of Jakobson Shipyard.


  • More than 1,000 citizens attended a rezoning hearing at local high school to oppose Town development plan.  FOB unveiled its own plan for the western waterfront.
  • Second public hearing; more than 400 turned away due to overcrowding. FOB hired legal help.


  • Town hearing on its waterfront plan, which adds further development. More than 500 attended.


  • FOB held the first community meeting to oppose application for zoning change at Jakobson Shipyard. Proposed for the site are 78 condos, 225 boat slips, 399 parking spaces, a 300-seat restaurant, and later, an office tower and boatel.
  • FOB first proposed a “Classroom by the Bay” at the Jakobson Shipyard.


  • Nine people concerned about pending waterfront development form Friends of the Bay.