The Town of Babylon Department of Environmental Control recently collaborated with the South Shore Estuary Reserve (SSER) office to create educational signage that raises ecological awareness to the importance of eelgrass in the Great South Bay.
Eelgrass is a type of underwater marine plant found throughout the Northeast Atlantic coast. The plant has many benefits to marine life, including the absorption of nutrients, stabilizing shorelines, providing marine habitat, storing carbon, etc. The plant is threatened by poor water quality and increasing water temperatures among other factors. According to SSER, about 45% of eelgrass has been lost since 2002.
Prior to the start of the summer 2022 season, the Town has installed the signs about the importance of preserving eelgrass at three parks; Cedar Beach Marina, Tanner Park and Venetian Shores. It is anticipated that other south shore townships will also install the signs within their jurisdictions.
“It is our hope that this signage will help inform the public of the benefits of eelgrass to our waters, and teach vital steps we can all take to help protect this delicate plant,” said Supervisor Rich Schaffer. “The signage is a great educational tool for the families who utilize our facilities in the summer months.”
Photo: Environmental GIS Analysts Greg Gaxiola and Alexandra Caputo with the new eelgrass signage at Cedar Beach Marina.