On the evening of Sept. 21, Seatuck water-quality scientist Maureen Dunn along with guest speakers spoke to a crowd of community members at the Bay Shore Historical Society’s monthly meeting, …
On the evening of Sept. 21, Seatuck water-quality scientist Maureen Dunn along with guest speakers spoke to a crowd of community members at the Bay Shore Historical Society’s monthly meeting, which took place at the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Library.
The topic of September’s meeting was the Penataquit Creek Restoration. Dunn enthusiastically gave a well-detailed presentation, created by herself and Mary Reid (who, unfortunately, was unable to attend). The slide-show presentation comprehensively explained the history, process, challenges, and future plans for this ongoing restoration of the Upper Penataquit Creek.
Dunn first mentioned how the areas around the creek are historical sites—one of those locations being the First Baptist Church, which is celebrating its 105th birthday. They have played an integral part in the restoration since the beginning.
Seatuck’s mission is to conserve wildlife and the habitat they depend on. There have been strides to restore the ecosystem, both in the creek and around it. Native plant species have been planted around the area. Shrubs have provided food for insects and birds. Trees were also grown, helping with stability and providing food for the native fish.
They also want to make the creek a place where community members can enjoy for years to come.
“This [the project] is not something that we did alone; we did this with partners, and I think that’s the key to getting something like this going,” Dunn said.
Along with the First Baptist Church and Seatuck, there are numerous other community partners, including The Bay Shore Historical Society, Northwell Health, South Shore University Hospital, Boy Scout troops, and more.
Ninety-two people showed up for the creek’s first cleanup event.
“It’s amazing how people have pulled together and put their efforts in and showed up to do this work,” Dunn said.
Two members of the First Baptist Church in Bay Shore spoke about their history with the Penataquit Creek. The first to speak was deacon John Cornigans. He talked about the area the church owned near the creek and how different it was from when he was growing up. Cornigans spoke about how the land was bought with the intention of restoring the area. Seatuck, along with their partners, is making that possible. Next, Eunice Lee Farmer also mentioned how the area has changed.
Legis. Steven Flotteron, who was in attendance, has been an active, longtime supporter of this restoration. He mentioned that the area is being restored for historical and environmental purposes, but also because the creek is considered an asset for the area.
“There’s this beautiful stream that no one gets to see,” Flotteron said. “I think it’s really a win-win-win collaboration, from the church, to the school next door, to the whole community.”