Stony Brook Harbor, or Three Sisters Harbor as it was known historically, is a pristine Long Island north shore pocket bay.
Untouched by major commercialization, it has been designated a Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat by the New York State Department of State and a Significant Coastal Habitat by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Despite these designations however, there is constant pressure to increase development in and around the harbor.
Between Stony Brook Harbor Tides: The Natural History of a Long Island Pocket Bay (SUNY Press 2016) by R. Lawrence Swanson and Malcolm J. Bowman interweaves scientific understandings of the harbor with a consideration of its colorful history to inform and educate a general audience about its unique and delicate state.
Data is used to illustrate the harbors tides and currents and to show how they influence geological processes and pollution susceptibility. Storm surge measurements going back to the early 1990s document some of the extreme high waters experienced, and descriptions of some marine species of plants and animals found in the harbor are also included.
The book discusses the century-long conflicts that local residents have fought in order to preserve the bay, and it documents the tools that currently exist to help manage the harbor well into the twenty-first century.
At the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University, State University of New York, R. Lawrence Swanson is Associate Dean, and Malcolm J. Bowman is Professor of Oceanography and Distinguished Service Professor. Swanson is the coeditor of Long Island Sound: Prospects for the Urban Sea. Bowman is the author and editor of more than sixty scientific texts, including Storm Surge Barriers to Protect New York City: Against the Deluge (coedited with Douglas Hill and Jagtar S. Khinda).
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