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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The Post Morrow Preserve is located on the west side of Bay Road and includes much of the east bank of Beaver Dam Creek. This 60-acre property, consisting of deciduous woodlands, marshes and a small pond, is administered by a foundation established by the owner, the late Elizabeth Post Morrow. Educational nature trails are planned for this valuable wildlife preserve.

In addition to the above preserves, there is an area on the north side of Montauk Highway that includes the headwaters of Beaver Dam Creek. This area of deciduous woods and swampland is particularly vulnerable to development due to the close proximity on either side of commercial enterprises. It is hoped that it can be preserved in its natural state and thus protect the creek from pollution.

Environmental Organizations

Brookhaven Village Association was founded back in 1906, primarily to preserve the rural atmosphere of the community. Recently, the BVA has been much involved with the operation of Squassux Landing and the needs of the growing boating community. The association, which currently has a membership of over 375 residents, has always been an essential watchdog on the preservation of open space within the boundaries of the Hamlet. A vital factor in the group’s effectiveness has been the concern and dedication of the BVA Board members, who meet frequently.

Open Space Council was founded in the 1970s. While concerned with the preservation of open land in the Hamlet, OSC is also involved with environmental matters affecting the rest of Long Island. The council’s membership is over 400, and it is currently involved in a lawsuit aimed at preventing a gigantic, unneeded shopping mall in the center of the Island, east of the rural Yaphank area. There are far too many shopping malls already in our area, and the older ones have mostly gone out of business, superseded by their successors.

Brookhaven Town Natural Resources Committee is now defunct, but it has an important history, since it was the forerunner of the prestigious Environmental Defense Fund. Founded in the 1950s, it was composed of a group of concerned citizens who met informally to discuss environmental problems within Brookhaven Town. In the early 1960s, the committee was concerned with the widespread use of the pesticide DDT by the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Commission. Since it was evident that this broad-spectrum chemical was adversely affecting many non-target organisms, the BTNRC initiated a lawsuit in 1966, which convinced the court that DDT was indeed hurting many of Long Island’s natural resources. Since then, the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Commission has never used this chemical. From this small but significant local victory came the founding of the EDF in 1967.

Students for Environmental Quality was formed by Bellport High School1 students’ in the 1950s to tackle local environmental problems. By lobbying, petitioning and other means, SEQ has had many worthy achievements, including obtaining protection of the harbor seal in New York State, preserving sections of the Carmans River, supporting the beverage container deposit law, and enhancing garbage-management practices.


1Bellport High School is a misnomer. The high school is located in the middle of Brookhaven Hamlet.