McKeown sisters at Beaver Dam Creek and South Country road

Brookhaven & South Haven Hamlets

Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, New York

Brookhaven/South Haven Hamlets Study

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Several professional fishermen use the lower Carmans River (Squassux Landing) as a base for their work in nearby Bay waters. Crabs, hardshell clams, scallops, eels and other fish, including flounder, snappers, Menhaden and occasionally oysters, are harvested for the market.

Many amateur gardeners in the Hamlet take advantage of the rich, light, easily worked soil to maintain productive vegetable gardens. Fruit trees are cultivated, as well as grape arbors, raspberry and blueberry patches. There are several commercial potted and border flower farms in the Hamlet.

Also within the Hamlet are several active nests of the formerly endangered osprey. The nationwide ban on the broad-spectrum pesticide DDT in 1972 is now enabling this bird to recover from near-extinction in the northeastern U.S.

The endangered mud turtle can be found in marshy areas.

Wildlife Preserves

The Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge is operated by the Fish & Wildlife Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which administers the refuge’s 2,400 acres of woodlands, marshes and waterways. Most of the area is located on the east bank of the lower Carmans River, but a sizable portion is located on the west bank, north of Beaver Dam Road and east of Old Stump Road. This area includes several small tributaries of the Carmans River. In 1967, the late Mrs. Wellington conveyed 180 acres unspoiled meadows and salt marsh to be added to the Wertheim Refuge. This parcel is located on the lower west bank of the river and is bordered on the south by the Bay. It is a habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds and waders.

New York State Marshland was acquired by the State in the 1970s and consists of 234 acres of salt marsh and wet woodlands contiguous to the salt marsh conveyed to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service by Mrs. Wellington Access to this area is available from the lower end of Mott Lane, south of Beaver Dam Road.

Suffolk County acquired the Hawes Property in July 1992, opposite the Marist Brothers retreat on the south side of South Country Road. This fine, 38-acre preserve consists of a mature hardwood area at the northern end, merging at the lower levels into wooded swampland and marsh further south. It is a good stopping-off point for migrating birds in spring and fall, On June 13, 1995, the Suffolk County Legislature voted to designate this land as the Dennis Puleston Nature Preserve.

In 1989, the Town of Brookhaven purchased the Saltaire Property at the far southern end of Bay Road, which consists of 18 acres of swamp woods and fresh and salt marsh, bounded on the south by the Bay. On February 23, 1995, the Town Board voted to designate this parcel as the Fire Place Nature Preserve,