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Wetlands along Brushy Neck Creek in Westhampton Protected

Conservation News
November 16, 2020

Wetlands Protected for the Health of the Estuary and Climate Change Resilience

Congratulations and sincere thanks to the DiPirro/Dederick family and the Town of Southampton for conserving 1.7 acres along Brushy Neck Creek in Westhampton. With a rich wildlife habitat and scenic views, the undeveloped property sits at the eastern end of Moriches Bay Estuary and was identified by the Town as a conservation priority. With the assistance of the Trust, the DiPirro/Dederick family sold their property to the Town in September and it will now be a nature preserve forevermore. 

The family reached out to the Trust in early 2019, working with Senior Project Manager Kim Quarty, to facilitate the conservation process. The Town was a willing partner from the outset.

“As someone who grew up here, it is important to me – and my family – to support conservation efforts on Eastern Long Island. Without our beautiful and ecologically healthy waters, wetlands, beaches, and wildlife, we lose the very essence of what defines this community and why many of us choose to live here.”

Carolann DiPirro

As recent storms have proven, providing buffers — especially in areas along our fragile salt marshes like this one — aids in coastal resilience by reducing the destructive impacts of storm surge hastened by the impacts of climate change.

This is beneficial not only to the people living near the water, but also provides for a healthy environment for our local wildlife. Over 100 species of fish, birds and plants can be found in the area, including diamondback terrapin and loggerhead sea turtles and seals. A wide variety of migratory, breeding, and wintering birds, including peregrine falcons, terns, osprey and owls, also find refuge and food here.

As part of the Atlantic flyway, the area provides places to rest and nest for the many species of birds who make their way north and south as well as for those who call Long Island their home all year round.

The newly protected land is located across Brushy Neck Creek from the Trust’s Jagger Preserve (donated to the Trust in 1994 by Henry Jagger) and near our Tanners Neck Preserve just to the east (12 acres donated to the Trust in December 1991 by Joseph and Frank Savino). Additionally, the Town has protected numerous other undeveloped parcels in this area for parkland and open space – all of which contribute to the health of the estuary.

Carolann added: “Our 9-year-old son summed it up perfectly: ‘We love nature. We have open land. So we thought, ‘What can we do to help nature? Because nature helps us! Why don’t we preserve it?’ So that’s what we did. And now we’re really happy.”

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To learn more about this conservation story, or if you know of a property within your community that could be an opportunity for conservation, contact Senior Project Manager Kim Quarty at 631.283.3195.

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