Our Work / Stewardship

Georgica Pond Preserve Trail & Species

The Georgica Pond Preserve is a former commercial property in the midst of transformation to a natural area including wetlands and uplands for a healthier Georgica Pond. For more than 50 years, the site was developed as a restaurant property.

In August 2020, the Peconic Land Trust acquired the 1.4 acre property with the generous support of local resident Katharine Rayner. Ms. Rayner donated the funds to acquire the land and underwrite the remediation and restoration with native grassland and wetland vegetation.

Take some time to explore the preserve and see the wide range of native plants and trees, birds, reptiles, finfish and shellfish, including ospreys, snapping turtles and blue crabs that call this area home.

Trail

Georgica Pond Trail Map

Animal Species

Blue Crab

Callinectes sapidus

The scientific name for blue crabs is Callinectes sapidus, which translates to “beautiful savory swimmer.” Female blue crabs mate only once in their lives, releasing more than 2 million eggs per brood.

Bluecrab

Artwork courtesy of Britt Zuckerman

Least Tern

Sternula antillarum

The smallest of the North American Terns, the Least Tern nests on sandy beaches along the coastal US. Adult Least Terns defend their nest from intruders by dive bombing the intruder. Their nickname is called “little striker.”

Least Tern

Artwork courtesy of Britt Zuckerman

Snapping Turtle

Chelydra serpentina

Despite being a fresh water species, the snapping turtle can tolerate brackish water such as at Georgica Pond. “Snappers” can be easily seen coming up for air at the Pond. They rarely bask like other turtles. If encountered, do not provoke them, their bite can break bones.

Snapping turtle

Artwork courtesy of Britt Zuckerman

White Perch

Morone americanus

White Perch are semi-anadromous, they can be seen migrating to tidal water and brackish water. Despite the name, White Perch are part of the wider Bass family, not the Perch family. Close relatives include the white bass and striped bass.

White Perch

Artwork courtesy of Britt Zuckerman

Plant Species

Beach Pea

Lathyrus japonicus

Beach pea is a coastal plant, found on sandy beaches, dunes and upper gravel beaches. The seed pods turn black when ripe, and can cause paralysis, known as lathyrism, if eaten in large quantities.

Beachpea

Artwork courtesy of Britt Zuckerman

Blue-Green Algae

Cyanobacteria

The pond has experienced toxic blue-green algae blooms, low oxygen levels, and fish kills. Efforts to protect against future blooms focus on reducing nitrogen levels in the pond, and more frequently opening the connection of the pond to the ocean to increase salinity.

Algea bloom

Artwork courtesy of Britt Zuckerman

Common Reed

Phragmites australis

This non-native species is highly invasive and detrimental to the pond. Controlling it can increase the diversity of native plants, which provides habitat for native fauna.

Phragmites

Artwork courtesy of Britt Zuckerman

Cordgrass

Spartina patens

Spartina pectinata

Spartina alterniflora

All three grasses serve as pollution filters and buffers against flooding and shoreline erosion. S. patens can be found in high marsh zones. S. pectinata can tolerate water but not prolonged flooding. S. alterniflora is usually restricted to the water’s edge.

cordgrass

Artwork courtesy of Britt Zuckerman

Marsh mallow

Hibiscus moscheutos

Marsh mallow produces white flowers with a tinge of burgundy color. Marsh mallow blooms in August and September. In ancient times, the roots were cooked with honey to create a sweet confection, the precursor of the marshmallows (although they no longer contain marsh mallow root).

Marsh mallow

Artwork courtesy of Britt Zuckerman

Sago pondweed

Stuckenia pectinata

Sago pondweed is an extremely important aquatic plant in lakes and ponds because of its nutritional value as a food source for birds, including waterfowl, marsh birds, and shorebirds.

Pondweed

Artwork courtesy of Britt Zuckerman

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