Southold, NY

Shellfisher Preserve

Project Type

Stewardship, Farms for the Future



Things to do

Nature Study, Paddling



Shellfisher Rd, Southold, NY 11971


Donated to the Peconic Land Trust in 1996 by the Plock Family, Shellfisher Preserve is a fully operational mariculture facility that is contributing to our enjoyment and health in so many ways: the revitalized shellfish operation not only provides us with oysters, clams and scallops for the local market, but it also grows and distributes shellfish through seed programs that improve the water quality of Southold Bay and beyond.

John Plock founded the Shelter Island Oyster Company on the site in 1935, but due to personal circumstances the maricultural facility was shut down in the late 1970s. In the early 1990s, the Plocks came to the Trust, and working with John v.H. Halsey and Tim Caufield created a limited development plan for their 21.8-acre parcel -- which permanently protected 14 of those acres in 1992.

Four years later, the Plocks donated the protected land to the Trust.

Want to learn more? Check out Alec Hirschfeld's documentary video, Out Here in the Fields: Shellfisher Preserve:

Working with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Suffolk County’s Marine program, and a grant from the National Grid (formerly KeySpan) Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Trust restored the shellfish facility. This restoration involved replacing the old 144 foot long structure, repairing the bulkhead and deepening 150 feet of creek that runs under this structure.

Shellfisher Preserve is now managed theTrust — and is leased to Aeros Cultured Oyster Co, Hampton Oyster Company, and Southold Bay Oysters.

We thank the Plocks for seeking out a conservation plan for their land and helping to keep alive the tradition of shellfish farming on Long Island.

Visitor Information

We would love to show you around! Visits to Shellfisher Preserve are by appointment only. To schedule a visit, please contact Dan Heston at 631.734.5630.

Get Directions

Shellfisher Preserve

Get Directions

Shellfisher Preserve

Shellfisher Rd, Southold, NY 11971

Things To Do

Nature Study

Nature Study



Get Involved

Peconic Pearls

Special: Next time you are out and about and see "Peconic Pearls" oysters on the menu consider ordering a dozen.

Peconic Pearls are sold with a 5 cents premium, which is donated to the Trust in support of water quality projects.

To learn more about Peconic Pearls and the work of the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative, visit their website:


Noank Aquaculture Cooperative, a shellfish grower’s cooperative comprised of small-scale shellfishing businesses, which together have formed a successful, vertically integrated shellfish cultivation and marketing company, based in Noank, Connecticut.

The mission of the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative is to augment the development of environmentally responsible small-scale shellfish farms in partnership with community groups and other non-profits to promote an understanding of shellfishing and the health of the estuaries upon which shellfishing depends. The development of a similar cooperative model for our Shellfisher Preserve will help preserve the East End’s shellfishing heritage.

The Noank Aquaculture Cooperative members began renovating the old underground hatchery in 2004. The project was completed in 2006. This facility houses a hatchery for small shellfish and has a greenhouse above it which is used to supply algae (food) to the newborn bivalves.

Conservation in a Changing Climage

Shellfisher Preserve is a featured Case Study on the Land Trust Alliance's web portal, Conservation in a Changing Climate, a resource-filled site about climate change and its implications for the conservation community.

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