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Shinnecock Canal Canoe Place
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Overview of the Peconic Estuary

Just 80 miles east of the hustle and bustle that is New York City lays the unparalleled beauty and tranquility of Long Island’s East End and the Peconic Estuary. Dubbed one of the "Last Great Places" in the western hemisphere, the Peconic Estuary is situated between the north and south forks of Long Island. The watershed begins at Brookhaven National Lab with the headwaters of the Peconic River, spans the several bays from Flanders to Gardiners, and ends in Block Island Sound between Plum Island and Montauk Point. More than 125,000 land acres and 158,000 surface water acres are included in the Peconic Study Area.

Estuaries are the most productive ecosystems on earth, containing more life per square inch than the lushest rainforest canopy. The Peconic Estuary lives up to this high standard—animal and plant life abound. One hundred eleven rare species reside within the Peconic watershed. Indeed, the combination of undisturbed habitats and productive bays prompted The Nature Conservancy to call the Peconic Estuary one of the “Last Great Places in the Western Hemisphere.”Compared to other estuaries, the Peconic Estuary is relatively pristine. The health of the Peconic Estuary can be partially attributed to its rural surroundings. Nearly 25% of the land that falls within the watershed is classified as open space, and the year-round human population is just 100,000. However, as suburban sprawl expands further and further toward

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