CONSCIENCE POINT SHELLFISH
Conscience Point Shellfish is located on North Sea Harbor adjacent to the Conscience Point historic site, across from the Conscience Point National Wildlife Refuge and acres of salt marsh. Our property is made available to us through the generosity and forward thinking of the Southampton History Museum.
Conscience Point Shellfish, a registered nonprofit corporation in New York State, was founded in June 2013 with the mission to advance Southampton Town’s rich maritime history with modern practices of sustainable aquaculture and ecological stewardship of town waters. We achieve this by growing shellfish, which are used to seed local bays, restore shellfish populations and improve water quality; and by promoting aquaculture through education and experiential opportunities.
Our main mission is Restoration.
Nitrogen pollution is a major problem within the Peconic Estuary System. Excess nitrogen comes from fertilizers, storm water runoff and septic system discharge. CPS and the Peconic Estuary Program share a common interest in reducing the amount of nitrogen in the form of nitrate in our marine waters. Nitrate promotes the growth of phytoplankton (algae). A mature oyster is capable of filtering up to 50 gallons of water per day and in so doing will consume the plankton which contributes in the oysters growing biomass. Nitrogen containing oyster byproducts are then denitrified by bacteria and the resulting harmless nitrogen gas is released into the atmosphere. In an effort to seed local bays, our oysters have been placed in North Sea Harbor, Sag Harbor, Shinnecock Bay and Reeves Bay (Flanders), Cold Spring Pond, and Moriches Bay.
EDUCATION AND VOCATION
Secondary goals of CPS include education and vocation. Conscience Point Shellfish is a community-based facility that initially employed local community volunteers to assist in the construction of the facility. Now, some of those volunteers are learning about sustainable aquaculture by participating in the operation and maintenance of the facility. Further, volunteers learn about and assist in the development and promotion of the organization’s goals.
Conscience Point Shellfish is dedicated to promoting aquaculture on Eastern Long Island and in our Community. In the past, we have done this by providing oysters to various “oyster gardens” and by providing the technical assistance and appropriate hardware needed to be successful.