In 2004, The Nature Conservancy completed the acquisition of 13,400 acres of underwater land in Great South Bay, which covers about 20% of the bay bottom. This underwater preserve has provided a place for the Conservancy to embark upon an ambitious shellfish restoration effort to bring depleted clam populations back into Great South Bay.
With the help of donors, partners and volunteers, The Nature Conservancy has forged ahead with this initiative and has entered into a new era of marine conservation.
As the preserve consists of submerged lands under Great South Bay, the preserve is not open for visitors.
With the acquisition of the underwater land in Great South Bay ,The Nature Conservancy embarked upon one of the most ambitious shellfish restoration efforts in the nation — to “put the great back into the Great South Bay.” Five years into our 15-year effort, we’re learning a lot about shellfish and their importance as a natural resource.
After stocking more than 3.5 million adult clams into the bay, we are seeing the clam population start to show initial signs of recovery for the first time in decades. We are encouraged by our progress and have laid out a solid foundation to continue. The commitment and patience of our partners will need to continue in order for this project to be a success.