6.6  PECONIC RIVER STEWARDSHIP UNIT  (UNIT 6)

6.6.1  Location

This unit consists of approximately 8,650 acres of core lands and 4,580 acres of compatible growth area lands.

Beginning in the Town of Brookhaven at the intersection of William Floyd Parkway and Middle Country Road (NYS Route 25), the boundary of this unit travels eastward along Middle Country Road into the Town of Riverhead. It includes all lands within the fenced area of the United States Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant south of Route 25 and some additional lands to the east. Here the boundary is co-terminus with the Central Pine Barrens boundary which travels generally easterly and southerly to the intersection of Edwards Avenue and River Road. The boundary then travels slightly east along River Road to the intersection of the Long Island Expressway which forms the southern edge of the unit.

Traveling westerly along the Expressway, the unit includes lands west of Exit 69 that are north of the Expressway and south of the Long Island Railroad, eastward to the intersection of the Railroad and North Street. Traveling north on North Street to the point that forms the southwestern boundary of lands of Suffolk County known as Robert Cushman Murphy Park. Continuing north along this line which is also the eastern boundary of Brookhaven National Laboratory to the point where the park intersects with the former County 111 right of way or Suffolk County Pine Trail Preserve. Here the unit boundary travels westerly along the northern boundary of the Lab to William Floyd Parkway then northerly to the point of beginning.
 

6.6.2  Description of Public Lands Ownership and Management

The two principal public landowners in unit 6 are Suffolk County and the Navy, currently. However, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC") manages the largest acreage in this unit through the Fish and Wildlife Management Act in an area known as the Navy Cooperative Area. The United States Navy still owns lands that were crash zones for the Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant operated by Grumman. These lands were dedicated as the Otis Pike Preserve and will be deeded to the DEC in the near future. The Otis Pike Preserve in this unit and 901 acres owned by Suffolk County as part of Robert Cushman Murphy County Park make up most of the Navy Cooperative Area. Other lands managed as part of the Navy Co-op are in the two adjacent stewardship units, Brookhaven State Park and Manorville Hills.

The Nature Conservancy owns approximately 60 acres in this unit in non-contiguous areas both north of Black and Sandy Pond and west of Swan Pond. While they are not a public entity, they do hold these lands for conservation purposes and access to their holdings is by appointment only. Other public land holdings in this unit include right of ways managed by Keyspan Energy and containing transmission towers and associated infrastructure. The north-south corridor is located at the junction of the Ridge residential community in the northwest portion of the unit and Robert Cushman Murphy County Park. A major east-west corridor exists in the southern portion of the unit starting just west of the Long Island Expressway Exit 69 and running parallel to and just south of the Long Island Railroad Central line through the entire unit to Exit 72. Additionally, the Town of Brookhaven owns land in the Compatible Growth Area portion of the unit in and around existing homes in Ridge. The Town of Riverhead has some land along the Town boundary of this unit which also follows the Peconic River. These ownerships are delineated in the natural resources map.

Unit 6, being in the Towns of Brookhaven and Riverhead receives law enforcement from Suffolk County Police Department, Town of Riverhead Police, Suffolk County Parks Police, and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police. Depending on the offense and where it takes place, all of these agencies have police powers within this unit. Additionally, the unit is split by three fire departments, Ridge, Manorville and Riverhead. The Ridge Fire Department is limited to the residential area in the northwest of the unit. Manorville has the most area in this unit covering all of the remaining lands excluding the northeast corner of the unit. The New York State Forest Rangers also have firefighting jurisdiction over state managed and owned lands and on other lands when called upon by the fire chief in charge.
 

6.6.3  Existing Land Use

Peconic River Stewardship Unit
Core Preservation Area by Land Use and Municipality



 
Ownership / Land Use
Town of Brookhaven
Town of Riverhead
Town of Southampton
Total
Protected Lands
Suffolk County 
New York State 
United States of America 
Town 
The Nature Conservancy 
PBC Easements
.
1,126.78
49.18
247.92
24.49
-
38.57
.
1,807.93
2.6
1902.10
23.9
58.1
-
. .
2,934.71
51.78
2,150.02
48.39
58.1
38.57
Total
1,486.94
3,794.63
.
5,281.57
Developed Lands
Agricultural (100) 
Residential (200) 
Commercial (400) 
Entertainment (500) 
Comm Services (600) 
Industrial (700) 
Private Club (900)
.
8.08
208.02
3.99
-
80.27
-
-
.
36.01
201.75
17.2
97.09
-
20.58
187.20
. .
44.09
409.77
21.19
97.09
80.27
20.58
187.20
Total
300.36
559.83
.
860.19
Utilities/Tranportation*
LILCO 
LIRR 
SCWA 
Drainage
.
31.24
7.45
-
-
.
-
6.3
-
-
. .
31.24
13.75
-
-
Total
38.69
6.3
.
44.99
Private, Vacant, Unprotected
561.53
200.01
.
761.54
GRAND TOTALS
2,387.52
4,560.77
.
6,948.29

*  Paved roads, right of ways and paper streets not calculated.
 
 

Peconic River Stewardship Unit
Compatible Growth Area by Land Use and Municipality



 

Ownership/
Land Use
Town of Brookhaven
Town of Riverhead
Town of Southampton
Total
Protected Lands
Suffolk County
New York State
United States of America
Town
The Nature Conservancy
PBC Easements
.
51.2
-
-
21.02
-
-
.
-
-
-
-
-
-
. .
51.2
-
-
21.02
-
-
Total
72.22
0
.
72.22
Developed Lands
Agricultural (100)
Residential (200)
Commercial (400)
Entertainment (500)
Comm Services (600)
Industrial (700)
Private Club (900)
.
120.46
284.14
22.53
-
2.6
-
-
.
216.78
11.0
7.6
82.5
-
2,183.6

-

. .
337.24
295.14
30.13
82.5
2.6
2,183.6
-
Total
429.73
2,501.48
.
2,931.21
Utilities/Tranportation*
LILCO
LIRR
SCWA
Drainage
.
3.15
-
-
6.85
.
-
9.5
-
-
. .
3.15
9.5
-
6.85
Total
10
9.5
.
19.5
Private, Vacant, Unprotected .
293.26
.
89.46
. .
380.9
GRAND TOTALS
805.21
2,600.44
.
3,403.83

* Paved roads, right of ways and paper streets not calculated.
 

6.6.4 Existing Ecological Resources

Vegetation.

A vegetation inventory was conducted through the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the State University of New York at Stony Brook for Robert Cushman County Park in 1993, however has not been updated. A copy of the map that was produced is in Appendix --. No written report was prepared to describe the vegetation communities depicted on the map however the following table lists those that were identified.
 
 

Vegetation Communities depicted on 1993 map
of Robert Cushman Murphy County Park
  • pitch pine forest 
  • pine- oak forest 
  • oak-pine forest 
  • mesic pine forest 
  • open pine-scrub oak forest 
  • pine-oak-maple forest 
  • pine-oak-tupelo forest 
  • burned mesic pine forest 
  • old burn, pine-oak forest 
  • burned, open pine forest 
  • oak-pine-highbush blueberry forest 
  • oak forest 
  • oak-maple-tupelo forest 
  • red maple forest 
  • red maple swamp 
  • sedge-grass meadow 
  • cranberry bog 
  • old field 
  • sand pit


(map prepared by Janet A. Morrison, SUNY Stony Brook, Dept. of Ecology & Evolution, 1993

Additionally, vegetative cover types were digitized for the Central Pine Barrens by the Suffolk County Department of Planning in 1993 and are shown on the natural resources map for unit 6. This classifies the unit with pitch pine-oak forest and freshwater wetlands predominantly. Additionally the unit contains areas of oak forest, successional old field, agriculture, and plantation or non-native species plantings which is found inside the fence on the Grumman parcel. The unit is interspersed with vegetative disturbances including lawn and ornamental landscape areas as a result of former and current land uses as well as developed parcels, and vacant parcels that have been classified as disturbed. These classifications have not been confirmed with ground truthing so not only is the data six years old but there are certainly instances where a finer level of classification and confirmation of current categories would be useful.

The cover type mapping that has been done does not classify community types. However New York Natural Heritage data have listed the following unprotected communities as occurring in this unit. It is relevant to distinguish between single species cover typing and community classifications, particularly for management decision making. At this time, the boundaries and extent of these communities is not known. For a detailed description of these please refer to Central Pine Barrens Comprehensive Land Use Plan, Volume II, Chapter 5, Ecosystems Overview.

Peconic River Stewardship Unit (Unit 6)  -  Natural Heritage Elements


Species
Name
Global Rank
State Rank
. . . .
Endangered Species
. . .
Aster concolor Silvery Aster G4 S1
Hypericum denticulatum Coppery St. John's Wort G5 S1
Rhynchospora inundata Drowned Horned Rush G4 S1
Uvularia puberula var. nitida Mountain Bellwort G5T3 S1
Wolffia brasiliensis Pointed Watermeal G5 S3
. . . .
Threatened Species
. . .
Desmodium glabellum Tall Tick Clover G5 S1
Eleocharis equisetoides Knotted Spikerush  G4 S2
Eleocharis tricostata Three ribbed Spikerush G4 S1
Eleocharis tuberculosa Long tubercled Spikerush G5 S2
Lachnanthes caroliana Carolina Redroot G4 S1
. . . .
Rare Species
. . .
Agalinis fasciculata Fascicled False Foxglove G5 S3
Carex hormathodes Marsh Straw Sedge G4G5 S2S3
Coreopsis rosea Rose Coreopsis  G3 S3
Digitaria filiformis Slender Crabgrass G5 S2
Lechea tenuifolia Slender Pinweed G4G5 S3
Lespedeza stuevei Velvety Lespedeza G4 S2
Liatris scariosa var. novae-angliae New England Blazing Star G5T3 S2
Lobelia nuttallii Nutall's Lobelia G5 S2
Ludwigia sphaerocarpa Globe fruited Ludwigia  G5 S2
Potamogeton confervoides Algae-like Pondweed G3G4 S2S3
Proserpinaca pectinatan Comb-leaved Mermaid Weed G5 S2
Rhynchospora nitens Short beaked Baldrush G4 S2
Rhynchospora scirpoides Long beaked Baldrush G4 S3
Rotala ramosior Tooth-cup G5 S2
Utricularia fibrosa Fibrous Bladderwort G4G5 S2
Utricularia juncea Rush Bladderwort  G5 S2
Utricularia radiata Small Floating Bladderwort G4 S2

 

Peconic River Stewardship Unit (Unit 6)  -  Unprotected Species


Species
Name
Global Rank
State Rank
Aletris farinosa Stargrass  G5 S2
Aster solidagineus Flax-leaf Whitetop  G4 S1
Bartonia paniculata Screw Stem  G5 S1
Callitriche hermaphroditica Autumnal Water Starwort  G5 SH
Crataegus uniflora Dwarf Hawthorn  G5 SH
Cyperus lupulinus ssp lupulinus Hop Sedge  G5T S2
Enneacanthus obesus Banded Sunfish  G5 S2
Gaylussacia dumosa Dwarf Huckleberry  G5 S1S2
Gnaphalium helleri var. icradenium Catfoot  G4G5T3 SH
Enallagma laterale New England Bluet  G3 S2
Enallagma pictum Scarlet Bluet  G3 S1
Enallagma recurvatum Pine Barrens Bluet  G3 S1S2
Euphorbia ipecacuanhae Ipecac Spurge  G5 S1
Incisalia irus Frosted elfin  G3G4  S1S3
Iris prismatica Slender Blue Flag  G4G5 S2
Muhlenbergia torreyana Torrey's Muhly  G3  SX
Nehalennia integricollis Southern Sprite  G5 S1
Panicum acuminatum var. Wrightianum Wright Panic Grass  G4  S1S2
Papaipema stenocilis Chain Fern Borer Moth  G4 S1
Polygonum hydropiperoides var. opelousanum Opelousa Smartweed  G5 S2S3
Rubus cuneifolius Sand Blackberry  G5  SH
Rhynchospora chalarocephala Loose-headed Beakrush  G5 SX
Solidago elliotii Coastal Goldenrod  G5 S1

 

Peconic River Stewardship Unit (Unit 6)  -  Unprotected Communities



 
 

Community Name
Global Rank
State Rank
Coastal Plain Pond Shore  G3G4 S2
Coastal Plain Pond G3G4 S2
Coastal Plain Poor Fen  G3 S1
Pine Barrens Shrub Swamp G4T2T3 S2

Wildlife.  No formal inventory has been taken for wildlife occurrences in this unit. Therefore, the natural resource map does not depict wildlife in any way. This does not represent the lack of species, however. Based on accounts from individuals that have traversed the unit and also based on previous studies, namely the Peconic River Study Report prepared by the New York State DEC upon inclusion of the Peconic River into the Wild Scenic and Recreational River program, this unit is rich with a full range of species. The following table is taken from said report.
 
 

Fish and Wildlife of the Peconic River and Environs


Category
Common names
Mammals
  • opposum 
  • masked shrew 
  • short tailed shrew 
  • eastern mole 
  • little brown bat 
  • red bat 
  • hoary bat 
  • eastern cottontail 
  • eastern chipmunk 
  • gray squirrel 
  • northern flying squirrel 
  • white footed mouse 
  • house mouse 
  • norway rat 
  • meadow jumping mouse 
  • muskrat 
  • red fox 
  • racoon 
  • long tailed weasel 
  • mink 
  • white tailed deer 
  • New England cottontail  (presence in doubt) 
Reptiles
  • stinkpot turtle 
  • snapping turtle 
  • musk turtle 
  • spotted turtle 
  • box turtle 
  • painted turtle 
  • common water snake 
  • ribbon snake 
  • common garter snake 
  • eastern hognose snake 
  • eastern ringneck snake 
  • black racer 
  • garter snake 
Birds
  • Canada goose
  • coot
  • black duck 
  • mallard 
  • wood duck 
  • widgeon 
  • teal grebe 
  • common bittern 
  • mute swan 
  • red tailed hawk 
  • herring gull
  • great blue heron 
  • woodcock 
  • ruffed grouse 
  • pine warbler
Amphibians
  • red backed salamander 
  • fowlers toad 
  • spring peeper 
  • grey treefrog 
  • leopard toad 
  • bullfrog 
  • tiger salamander
Fish
  • American eel 
  • eastern mudminnow 
  • redfin pickerel 
  • chain pickerel 
  • creek chubsucker 
  • golden shiner 
  • bridled shiner 
  • brown bullhead 
  • banded killifish 
  • white perch 
  • largemouth bass 
  • pumpkinseed 
  • carp 
  • banded sunfish 
  • yellow perch 
  • swamp darter 
  • bluegill 
  • black crappie 
  • pirate perch 
  • brown trout

Topography.  Most of this unit is relatively flat and somewhat low lying as is contains the river basin. Except in the southeastern corner of the unit where slopes are more morainal where this unit meets the Manorville Hills unit. Elevations are lowest along the river corridor at about 30-40' above mean sea level reaching as high as 80' on the former Grumman site. Slopes are not really a constraint for any activity in this unit. Topography is shown on the natural resource map.
 

Soils. A map was created illustrating soil types which was digitized by Suffolk County Planning Department from the Soil Survey of Suffolk County by the Soil Conservation Service and the United States Department of Agriculture. The predominant soil type in unit 6 is Carver and Plymouth sands 0-3% slopes and 3-15% slopes. Additionally, Deerfield sand, Berryland mucky sand as well as Muck are also common in this unit, primarily associated with the river and coastal plain ponds. In review of the Soil Survey, the table entitled "Limitations of the soils for town and country planning" it is important to note that the category for paths and trails lists the predominant soil types found in unit 6 as having severe limitations based on either high water table or sandy surface layer. The soils map illustrates all types found in unit 6. The table also lists these soils as having sever limitations for camps and athletic field or intensive play areas. Other categories are also listed in this table which can be found in Appendix -- but are not relevant at this time.
 

6.6.5 Existing Recreational Resources in Unit 6

Public parkland and permitted uses.


Existing trails and their current uses.

Hiking.  Unit 6 is laced with an abundance of foot trails and old woods roads. Generally these linear openings occur predominantly in and around the coastal plain ponds and the Peconic River. A portion of the Paumanok Path or Pine Trail Preserve as it is known here exists in this unit and includes a trailhead as noted above. A county owned parking area is provided here to access the Paumanok where it follows the abandoned County Road 111 right of way through a portion of the Ridge residential community to the point where it enters Robert Cushman Murphy County Park. Here is meanders generally easterly and southerly through the park and past Grassy, Twin and Jones ponds where is continues east to join the Peconic River. The trail follows the river to Mill Road where it continues easterly to Halsey Manor Road. Here is travels southerly to enter unit 8, Manorville Hills.

Horseback Riding.  Currently, horseback riding is not permitted by Suffolk County in this unit, however, New York State DEC does permit riding on Navy Co-op lands on old roads only. These are not currently marked for this activity. There is according to users, extensive riding taking place within unit 6 primarily in two areas. Many residents in Ridge in the northwest corner of this unit leave their homes and follow the Paumanok Path into Robert Cushman Murphy Park and Navy Co-op lands. From here riders are currently using an existing old road that exists along the Town line and at the western boundary of the unit. Parallel to this and slightly west is an old road on the Brookhaven National Laboratory property. These two roads intersect in the Cryan Pond area on the eastern edge of the unit. From here, the road continues south on the BNL site until it meets North Street where is follows the road east to the Hidden Pond Horse Farm. This farm also has trails leading from its northern boundary which lead westerly to the Cryan Pond area. These trails are marked on the map for analysis purposes.

Mountain Bikes.  Currently, there are no permitted mountain biking trails in this unit and there is no documented use occurring.

Miscellaneous trail usage.  There are many overlapping trails within unit 6. These are illustrated on the natural resource map. At present there are more than necessary for moderate recreational use. Some of the trails were created from firefighting efforts where brush trucks drove into wooded areas and made new in roads that have subsequently been used and worn by ATV's. An important management consideration will be not only what trails will be used for what purpose but also what roads and trails are not needed and can be closed through restoration and enforcement efforts.

Permitted access points and parking areas.  These are marked on the natural resource map with an "*" symbol and include the entrance to the pine trail nature preserve or Paumanok Path on Route 25 as well as various New York State DEC parking areas, primarily set up for hunting access. These areas are numbered and assigned to hunters during the season to control how many individuals are utilizing a given area within the Navy Co-op. As with trail usage, there are also many points of access into the unit that are not authorized and therefore are used by ATV's and require consideration for closure. Unauthorized access points are not mapped, however have been recorded in a separate table created by the Council and can be found in Appendix --.

The following table summarizes public lands, permitted recreational uses and historical uses in the unit.
 
PECONIC RIVER STEWARDSHIP UNIT HISTORICAL AND CURRENT RECREATIONAL USES BY LOCATION
Activities Robert Cushman Murphy Park Otis Pike Preserve Navy Coop Paumanok Path NYS Edwards Avenue Site NYS Canoe Lake Site NYS Connecticut Avenue Site Various areas within unit
Historical
. . . . . . . .
- Trapping 
- Cranberry Farming 
- Pony Express 
- Greyhound Racing 
- Colonial Bridge
    Crossing 
- Range and Target
Shooting 
- Fox Hunting 
- Ice Harvesting 
- Agriculture 
- Field Trials
.


.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
x

.
.

.
.

.
.
.
x

x
x
. . . . . .
Current 
. . . . . . . .
Hiking . permitted permitted . . . . .
Boating 
- Canoe/Kayak 
.
permitted
. . . .
permitted
. .
permitted
.
Hunting 

- Big Game 

archery 

shotgun 

- Small Game 

archery 

shotgun 

.
 

 

permitted 
 
 
 

permitted

permitted 
 
 
 

permitted

. . . . .
Fishing permitted permitted permitted . permitted permitted permitted .
Bicycling 
- Off Road 
- On Road
x x x .
.
permitted
Horseback Riding x old roads only . x . . . .
Field Trials 
- Retrievers 
- Pointing 
- Flushing Breeds
. .
permitted 
permitted 
permitted
. . . . . .
Camping . . . . . . . .
Birding  permitted permitted . permitted . . . .
Dog Walking x permitted . x . . . .
All Terrain Vehicles x x . x x . . .
Trapping . permitted . . . . . .

x = activity occurs at this location but is not currently authorized
permitted = activity occurs at this location and is authorized
 

6.6.6  Existing Cultural / Historical Resources

Peconic River Stewardship Unit Historic Places


Locale Name of Property
District
Section
Block
Lot
Calverton Brown's Store, Edwards Ave. 200 269 1 2
Calverton Brown's Cranberry Bog, S. River Rd. 200 299 1 21.001
Manorville A. B. Lane House, 373 North Street 200 410 2 5
Manorville Manorvile Depot Historic District 200 410 2 8
Manorville Manorvile Depot Historic District 200 410 2 7
Manorville Manorvile Depot Historic District 200 410 2 6
Manorville Manorvile Depot Historic District 200 410 2 5
Manorville Manorvile Depot Historic District 200 410 2 4
Manorville Manorvile Depot Historic District 200 410 2 3
Manorville Manorvile Depot Historic District 200 410 2 13
Manorville Manorvile Depot Historic District 200 410 2 1.1
Manorville Manorvile Depot Historic District 200 410 2 12.1
Manorville Manorvile Depot Historic District 200 410 2 2
Manorville Manorvile Depot Historic District 200 410 2 11
Manorville Morgan House, North St. 200 410 2 1.001
Manorville E Akley House, North Street 200 460 1 3
Manorville L. Carter Barn, off North Street 200 460 1 1
Manorville Schoolhouse, NW corner of North St. and Wading River Rd. 200 460 1 8
Manorville Elicha Carter House, North Street 200 460 2 2
Manorville Mrs. R. Briggs House, North Street 200 460 2 1
Manorville Lutheran Church(Morgan Property), North Street 200 461 1 6
Manorville Manorvile Depot Historic District 200 461 1 12
Manorville Manorville School, District 31, North Street 200 461 1 9
Manorville Raynor House, NE corner of North St. and Wading River Rd. 200 461 1 1
Manorville General Store, Ryerson Ave., & LIRR 200 461 3 31
Manorville Manorville Bible Protestant Church, Eastport Manor Road  200 461 3 27
Manorville Manorville Cemetary, Ryerson Ave. 200 461 3 29
Manorville Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, Eastport Manor Road 200 461 3 40
Manorville Raynor House, Lane Rd and Eastport Manor Rd. 200 461 3 35
Manorville The Maples, Ryerson Ave., & LIRR 200 461 3 32
Manorville Yeager House, Lane Rd. 200 461 3 34
South Manor R. Heinrich or P. Julian House, North Street 200 507 2 7
Calverton Grumman Airport 600 135 1 2
Calverton Rychlinsky House and Blueberry Farm 600 135 1 6
Calverton Calverton Railroad Depot 600 137 1 15
Calverton Central Hotel 600 137 1 23.002
Calverton Dickinson House 600 137 1 27
Calverton Site of Calverton Golden Pickle Factory 600 137 1 12
Calverton Babylon Rod and Gun Club 600 142 2 1.001
Calverton Babylon Rod and Gun Club 600 143 1 8.001
Calverton Babylon Rod and Gun Club 600 143 1 10
Calverton Babylon Rod and Gun Club 600 143 1 15
Calverton Babylon Rod and Gun Club 600 143 1 11
Calverton Gilbert Raynor House 600 148 2 8