Weather Alert  

"Flash Flood Watch" ...Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through this afternoon... The Flash Flood Watch continues for * portions of southern Connecticut, northeast New Jersey, and southeast New York, including the following areas, in southern Connecticut, northern Fairfield, northern Middlesex, northern New Haven, northern New London, southern Fairfield, southern Middlesex, southern New Haven, and southern New London. In northeast New Jersey, eastern Bergen, eastern Essex, eastern Passaic, eastern Union, Hudson, western Bergen, western Essex, western Passaic, and western Union. In southeast New York, Bronx, Kings (brooklyn), New York (manhattan), northeastern Suffolk, northern Nassau, northern Queens, northern Westchester, northwestern Suffolk, Orange, Putnam, Richmond (staten island), Rockland, southeastern Suffolk, southern Nassau, southern Queens, southern Westchester, and southwestern Suffolk. * Through this afternoon * low pressure approaches the area this morning and passes through this afternoon. Rain becomes heavy at times this morning with the potential for heavy downpours into early afternoon. A total of 1.25 to 2.25 inches of rainfall with locally higher amounts is possible in any stronger convection. Flash flooding of urban and poor drainage areas, as well as small streams will therefore be possible. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued. Pw , "Wind Advisory" ...Wind Advisory remains in effect from 9 am this morning to 6 PM EST this evening... * winds...south or southwest 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. * Timing...mid morning through the afternoon. * Impacts...strong winds may blow down limbs, trees, and power lines. Scattered power outages are expected. Precautionary/preparedness actions... A Wind Advisory is issued when sustained winds of 31 to 39 mph, or gusts of 46 to 57 mph, are expected or occurring. Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles, in open areas, and on elevated roads and bridges. Use extra caution. Pw -- Thursday Jan.24 19,03:34 AM

The Great South Bay

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Located on the South Shore of Long Island between Fire Island and the east end of Jones Beach, the Great South Bay has long been a major natural attraction on LI. Stretching for 32 miles, it includes towns such as Bellport, Islip, East Islip, Oakdale, and Sayville. As a shallow body of water shielded by the barrier islands, it is technically considered a lagoon, and not an actual bay.

Many local events take place along the bay, using its scenic beauty as a backdrop for concerts, festivals, and other happenings. The annual Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue has been hosting three days of music featuring local bands both big and small since 2006. Several breweries, such as the appropriately named Great South Bay Brewery, call the area home and are open to tours and tastings.

For all its natural beauty, however, the bay has been put at great risk by large amounts of pollution in recent decades. Leakage from septic tanks and chemicals used in lawn fertilizers have found their way into the waters, adversely affecting indigenous wildlife and regularly creating a “brown tide” of algae, further exacerbating the situation by preventing sunlight from penetrating the waters.  Long Island’s shores were once host to 83% of New York State’s hard clam production, but as the waters have darkened and the shellfish populations dwindled, the once bustling local industry has been devastated. To make matters worse, clams once provided a natural cleaning agent to the bay and were responsible for sanitizing a large percentage of Long Island waters. As their population declines the bay’s natural cleansing process is weakened—a cyclical relationship which does continuous harm to the health of the bay and its inhabitants, making it more difficult for the fish that remain to survive.

Organizations such as Save the Great South Bay have sprung up to try to salvage the waters. The group acts to raise awareness about various environmental issues, both positive and negative, impacting the bay. According to SGSB, the opening of a new inlet by Superstorm Sandy has actually benefitted the bay by allowing cleaner ocean waters to flow into the eastern portion and dilute the overall level of pollution. 

Photo of the New Inlet Courtesy of SoMAS