Last Updated: January 6, 2022 - Contributors: Alex-R.
Overall, What Did You Learn: I learned about the breadth and depth of the Society's work and impact. Since its inception in 1977, the Long Island Pine Barrens Society has championed the preservation of natural resources through public education and advocacy efforts. Importantly, the Society has been active in engaging the state and local government. In practice, it reviews every new development in the Pine Barrens, promoting its sound management. The group aims for the public acquisition of the land. Over the decades, major wins have been securing the transfer of over 7k acres to New York State to establish preserves, obtaining ~$500m in funding to purchase land across the Island, and defeating a golf course resort proposal. The name of the golf course was the Hills at Southampton.
Long Island Explorer: Something natural found on the site was the discussion of Long Island's camping. It discussed the views campers would encounter, including kettle ponds, hills, dunes, plain ponds, and cedar swamps in addition to wildlife and animals, including pines, pitcher plants, and turtles. As a reader, I was impressed by the imagery provided as it sounds picturesque. The site pointed to a “Hiking Trails Guide” that depicts all the leading locations in the Pine Barrens, which was helpful.
Long Island Geology & Plant Communities: Yes, the website provided geology information. The site stated that many of the thousands of plant and animal species at the Pine Barrens are endangered or threatened. Types of plant species mentioned included pitch pine, different types of oaks, heath plants, and lichens and wildflowers. Types of wetland communities mentioned included marshes, heath bogs, red maple swamps, and white cedar swamps, which are home to insectivorous species and orchids. Animals addressed included over 100 bird species, many of which are disappearing. Also species threatened include the buck moth, easter tiger salamander, eastern mud turtle, and northern harrier hawk. Importantly, the site outlined the importance of the single system of aquifers from which all of Long Island's drinking water is drawn, which requires special protection. The threat to the quality of the water exists in the roughly 70 contaminants that rainwater contacts. The more land used for homes, lawns, agriculture, and business, the greater the contamination. This has been a ramping issue.
Freshwater Observations: The site discussed the Long Island Clean Water Partnership, which was founded in 2013. The partnership's objective is to implement solutions to help improve the decline in water quality on Long Island. The site discussed nitrogen pollution leaking, the largest cause of poor water quality. The partnership is trying to combat this leaking through efforts to ameliorate policies and standards to limit the amount of nitrogen in groundwater. It is researching relevant technologies, educating the public via forums, and discussing the topic with media and elected officials.
Trail Observations: The site included an interactive map, which pointed out various trails for hiking and biking. I thought the information provided was great, as all interest points included relevant detail on trail length, difficulty, and additional descriptors.
Upon Calling The Park Resource Directly: I contacted the resource by phone to ask about upcoming events, which weren't displayed in the "Events" section of the site. I received confirmation that there indeed, were no upcoming events to help efforts.