Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt

May 2023

Sundays at Two

The Long Island Mammal Survey

with Mike Bottini

Sunday, May 14, 2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

(optional field trip 2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.)

Long Pond Greenbelt Nature Center

1061 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Tpke

Join us for the next Sundays at Two lecture of 2023 on Sunday, May 14, with Mike Bottini, a wildlife biologist whose research subjects include river otters, elk, spotted turtles, and piping plovers.

Launched in November 2022, the goals of this new conservation campaign led by Seatuck Environmental Association are to update the last mammal survey done here in the 1960s, educate Long Islanders about our native mammals, and based on our survey results lobby for changes in the NYSDEC’s hunting and trapping regulations. The survey will include mapping changes in the distribution of L.I.’s common species (e.g. Southern Flying Squirrel, Woodchuck, Eastern Chipmunk), rare species (Gray Fox, Striped Skunk, Long-tailed Weasel and Mink), and relatively new species (River Otter and Eastern Coyote). A major component of this project will rely on trail cams monitored by volunteers: learn how you can get involved in this exciting conservation campaign.  

Mike will discuss the Survey and lead an optional one-hour field trip to look for animal signs.  Meet at the Long Pond Greenbelt Nature Center, 1061 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Tpk.  Sundays at 2 are free and open to the public.

Mike Bottini currently is on staff at Seatuck Environmental Association, an organization dedicated to conserving Long Island wildlife and the environment. He is also the co-author of several books about the East End, including Trail Guide to the South Fork - with a Natural History (Long Island, New York) and Exploring East End Waters: A Natural History and Paddling Guide.

Three Cheers for the Long Pond Greenbelt’s Abundant Wetlands. And Hats Off to the 30th Anniversary of Southampton Town’s Wetland Law.

With the month of May being American Wetlands Month we want to highlight the amazing variety of wetland habitats found in Southampton’s conservation marvel, the Long Pond Greenbelt. Worldwide, the biodiversity of life forms supported by wetlands is extraordinary. It is estimated that 40% of all species live or breed in wetlands. Here on the South Fork there is perhaps no more important extensive wetland system -- one widely recognized as one of the most ecologically significant areas in New York State -- than the Long Pond Greenbelt.

Bracketed by intertidal Otter Pond in Sag Harbor and brackish Sagg Pond in Sagaponack, a string of freshwater wetlands of every stripe lies in between. Sagg Swamp, for instance, harbors examples of both Red Maple and coastal plain Atlantic White Cedar swamp. Proceeding North from there lies a string of coastal plain ponds and pondshores, including two magnificent examples: Long Pond and Crooked Pond. There is an emergent marsh and wet meadow at one end of Long Pond with Ligonee Brook draining from the other, turning from fresh surface water to saline surface water as it travels to Sag Harbor Cove. Also, scattered throughout the greenbelt are numerous kettleholes with vernal pools.

A virtual smorgasborg of wetlands! To see a map of the whole Long Pond Greenbelt and the trails that will lead you to its amazing ponds, swamps, and diverse wetlands, click here.

And kudos to Southampton Town who, thirty years ago in 1993, passed its landmark wetlands law to protect and conserve its existing wetlands and to achieve no overall net loss of these valuable natural resources. It established a Conservation Board with the authority to regulate any proposed disturbance to areas within 200 feet of wetland boundaries. Permits are required for any proposed disturbance of wetland areas.

SOFO will Conduct a 3-year Groundbreaking Study Tracking the Movements of Eastern Tiger Salamanders Around Confirmed Breeding Pools within The Long Pond Greenbelt Preserve

The South Fork Natural History Museum (SOFO) recently announced that it has received a grant from the Hollomon Price Foundation that will enable SOFO to conduct a three-year groundbreaking study tracking the movements of Eastern tiger salamanders around confirmed breeding pools within the Long Pond Greenbelt Preserve.

The Eastern tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) is a fossorial species, spending most of the year in underground burrows and tunnel systems. During the breeding season, adult eastern tiger salamanders emerge from their burrows, migrating to seasonal wetlands known as vernal pools, delicate ecosystems that are particularly sensitive to disturbance, to complete their breeding cycle.

SOFO’s study is designed to determine the area around breeding pools utilized by Eastern tiger salamanders, and to collect data that can be used to inform and guide state and local officials regarding future development projects within the Long Pond Greenbelt, including PSEG’s current, proposed plan to lay an underground transmission line through the Long Pond Greenbelt next to a vernal pool confirmed as a breeding site for the state endangered Eastern tiger salamander. Current NYS vernal pool management guidelines recommend a buffer zone of 535’ to protect Eastern tiger salamanders. While this recommendation is important, anecdotal evidence suggests this buffer may fail to adequately protect Eastern tiger salamanders. SOFO’s goal for the project is to collect the scientific data needed to support an extended buffer zone for Eastern tiger salamanders.

2023 Great East End Cleanup

Thank You to Our Volunteers

Thank you to our volunteers who made it out for the 2023 Great East End Cleanup. We cleaned up the Town trail along the LIPA easement off of the Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike - lots of garbage and even more tires! Volunteers: Greg Bellafiore, Dai Dayton, Irene Donohue, Sharone Einhorn, Sandra Ferguson, Michael Iasilli, Dayton Mc Dermott, Jean Mc Dermott, Ann Welker, Peter Wilson.

Photos from our 1st 2023 Sundays at Two with April Gonzales on the American Chestnut Tree

Thank you to April Gonzales who shared with us her enthusiasm for the American Chestnut at our April Sundays at Two. April donated three saplings that we hope to grow into mature trees. Thank you, April!

Upcoming Events in May

Important: Events are free but registration is required. To register, please email or call (or as otherwise noted in event detail). Dress appropriately for ticks.

Friday, May 5: Full Flower Moon Hike, 8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. May’s Flower Moon name should be no surprise; flowers spring forth across North America this month! Join us for a leisurely-paced walk through open fields. Meet at SOFO's parking lot, 377 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, 200 feet north of the RR tracks.

Saturday, May 6: Long Pond Hike. 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Meet at the LPG Nature Center, 1061 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike. Moderately-paced 3.5 mile hike through oak/hickory forest with views of Crooked Pond, Deer Drink, Long Pond, and Little Long Pond.  Leader: Dai Dayton, 631-745-0689. 

Saturday, May 6: Season opening of the Long Pond Greenbelt Nature Center, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. LPG Nature Center 1061 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike.

Saturday, May 6: Adopt a Patch, 10 a.m. Vineyard Field, behind SOFO, 377 Bridgehampton/ Sag Harbor Turnpike.

Monday, May 8: FLPG Monthly meeting, 5:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Sunday, May 14: Sundays At Two with Mike Bottini, 2 p.m. (optional 1-hr field trip at 2:45 p.m.) LPG Nature Center 1061 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike. (See details above.)


Saturday, May 20: Old Farm Road cleanup, 8 a.m. Help clean up the roadside along FLPG’s adopted road. Meet at Poxabogue Park, 191 Old Farm Road, Sagaponack. Bring gloves, bags provided. For more information, contact Peter Wilson: 631-553-1393. 

Sunday, May 28: Evening Walk in Vineyard Field, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Meet at 377 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike behind the SOFO museum for a moderately-paced walk through this beautiful Long Pond Greenbelt grassland with pond views. Leader: Dai Dayton, 631-745-0689. 

Our 2023 Membership Drive is Underway

It's Time to Renew!

Suggested annual membership donations. More or less is welcome.
1-year Individual:  $ 25.00
1-year Family:       $ 40.00
Individual Lifetime: $250.00

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