Water Features Response: Peconic River and Bay, Elisabeth Pearson

One local water feature is the Peconic River. It is roughly 15 miles in length and the mouth of the river is the Peconic Bay. According to the Peconic Estuary Partnership, the Peconic Estuary was formed over thousands of years and from the advance and retreat of the Wisconsin glacier 22,000 years ago. It is a freshwater river until it reaches river head where it turns into an estuary. Estuaries are extremely important to the natural wildlife of communities as they act as nurseries for a diverse array of animals and organisms. This water feature related to human design, planning and architecture because any structures surrounding the estuary have to be sure that toxic runoff water does not flow from their establishment to the estuary. Connected to the Peconic River and Bay is the Shinnecock Canal which was man made in 1892. To deal with the tidal differences between Peconic Bay and Shinnecock Bay tidal gates were used to reduce the effects of flooding. Today, a canal lock is used. A canal lock is a device that raises, and lowers boasts into different waterways. The purpose of this is to help a boat cross a canal where the land is not level.

One similarity that Delta Urbanisms pointed out was in Chapter 4 regarding the Transformation of Estuaries. Like that of the Peconic River, it turns into an estuary roughly around the town of Riverhead. Since estuaries are so important to the geography and environment, Peconic Bay and River and its surrounding business are geared more towards tourism, nature walks, and recreational marinas.


3 thoughts on “Water Features Response: Peconic River and Bay, Elisabeth Pearson

  1. I found your post really interesting because I am also from Long Island and liked the history you gave on the formation of the Peconic Estuary. As an island surrounded by water I’m curious to how Long Island upkeeps its shores from constant erosion, especially with the seasonal hurricanes weather and flooding that occurs. I know that houses built on the shore only encourage it and the reading never really spoke about the destructiveness from natural disasters, presumably because the Netherlands only suffers from flooding.


  2. Your map provided a very detailed look at your local water features! I am glad that the Peconic Estuary is being preserved. I appreciated your connection between the Peconic Estuary and the estuaries in the Netherlands. One of my biggest takeaways from Delta Urbanism was how communities’s economies responded to their local water features. For example, many Dutch cities had to transform their economies from the trading and fishing industry to the tourism and recreation industry once estuaries were closed to create lakes. It is interesting that your community also depends on tourism. Economies and nature are often co-dependent, and I wonder how your local economy responds to changes in nature? I am always intrigued by economies that run on nature tourism because there must be a balance between profiting off of nature while also trying to preserve it. Dutch architect, W.N Rose, was able to find this balance by creating a belt of canals that improved the flushing of the urban water system while also creating a public promenade to attract tourism. It seems like your community has also found its balance!


    1. I enjoyed that you highlighted an estuary in your reflection, especially because of their importance to the environment. You did a good amount of research which helped give background to the river which you are writing about. I also liked that you highlighted how having an estuary had an affect on the community, and geared it into tourism.


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