In a surprise event, 96 rare baby sea turtles, known as Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles, hatched and crawled to the ocean on a Rockaway beach this week according to the National Park Service.

The Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles are some of the most endangered and smallest species of sea turtles and are typically found in the Gulf of New Mexico.

“This is the furthest north [the sea turtle nest has ever been documented], so it’s very unusual that this turtle came to a beach in Queens to nest,” Patti Rafferty, chief of resource stewardship for Gateway National Recreation Area, a 26,000 acre National Park that stretches from New York to New Jersey. She continues “This isn’t where she would usually come to nest, and then for the eggs to actually successfully hatch. It’s a pretty amazing thing.”

Turtle Squad Heading to Sea
Jason Wickersty, NPS

The female Kemp’s Ridley crawled on the beach on the Rockaway Peninsula and built her nest in July according to Rafferty. The eggs were saved from High Tides by NPS workers, who were able to save and incubate 110 eggs. Of the 110 eggs that were saved, only 96 hatched and were able to crawl back into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was listed in the United States as endangered in 1970.

Source: National Parks Service

Going on adventures with your dog is one of the best feelings. You get to create new memories while you enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and new surroundings. So, whether you are looking for paved trails or open acreage, we have the perfect park for you. Below, we highlight the top 5 dog-friendly parks in Long Island that you should visit with your pup.

  1. Bailey Arboretum

If you’re looking for a park with a lot of lands, this is for you. Bailey Arboretum is a 42-acre preserve that allows you to bring your dog as long as they’re on a leash. There are numerous gardens, parks, and trails around the property that your dog can enjoy. This park is open 365 days a year and offers seven acres of meticulously landscaped gardens. This location also has many different classes, that you can attend at a later date when you don’t have your pup with you. The Bailey Arboretum makes it possible to take your dog to beautiful gardens, which is a nice change from hiking in the woods.  

  1. Blydenburgh County Park

At Blydenburgh County Park, there is a fenced-in area where you can let your dog off their leash. This dog park is split into two areas for large and small dogs. Then, there are many different trails and fields where your pup can play. Overall, this park offers two acres of fun for you to enjoy. Blydenburgh County Park also has many different water spots to keep your dog hydrated. Overall, this park has a little bit of everything for dog owners.  

  1. Mud Creek Natural Borders Dog Park

Many dog parks you go to will have fences and other man-made barriers to keep your dog confined and separated. However, with Mud Creek Natural Borders Dog Park, there are natural borders to confine your dog. This park is special because your dog can run on the beach and swim in the water. There aren’t many beaches in Long Island where your dog can enjoy the ocean. So, make sure to check this park out for a freeing experience for your pup.

  1. Heckscher State Park

Heckscher State Park allows dogs to visit numerous parts of this 1,600-acre park. Dogs are allowed on the beach and any underdeveloped areas. However, dogs are not allowed in bathing areas, picnic areas, buildings, or walkways. Heckscher State Park offers four miles of paved trails that offer perfect views of Fire Island and the South Bay. When visiting this park, you must keep your dog on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet.

  1. Sagamore Hill National Historic Site

For those dog owners that want a bit of history on their outing, the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site is the perfect destination. Formerly the home of President Teddy Roosevelt, there are trails that stretch all over the property. Your dog must be on leash while they are here, and they are not allowed in the water. However, you can walk dogs on the beach. This park is free, which is even more of a reason to take a trip out to these historic grounds.

Things to Remember:

Taking your dog to dog-friendly parks can be fun, but you need to be prepared. You should never take a dog to a dog park that isn’t vaccinated. You never know what kind of dogs that you are going to run into at the park. Some dogs haven’t been vaccinated, so it’s better to be prepared. Also, remember that sick dogs and dogs in heat should stay at home.

There can be aggressive dogs that go to these locations. Each park requires owners to handle their own dogs, but some owners won’t. So, even though you can have dogs off-leash we recommend keeping your dog on leash until you are comfortable. We recommend these chew proof leashes to keep your dog safe while you are out visiting these dog parks. If there are trails at the park, you can walk your dog first to tire them out. Then, you can take them to the dog park area to play off-leash. Just because your dog is well behaved, doesn’t mean others will be.

Finally, please remember to bring supplies for your dog. You need to have dog bags to clean up the waste that your dog leaves behind. We also recommend traveling with a dog water bottle, so that you have access to water at all times. Lastly, you can bring along a ball or toys that you want to use at the park.

All the dog park is missing is you!

Now that you know where to go for a dog-friendly park in Long Island, you just need to plan your trip! Remember to have fun and enjoy these times that you have with your dog. Once you start going to dog-friendly parks, you’ll find it hard to stop.

Ridge: Six people were recently charged for illegally dumping paint cans, a drum set, and a boat, in the Ridge Central Pine Barrens from May to July according to the Central Pine Barrens Commission.

“If you’re caught dumping, you could be subject to tens of thousands of dollars in fines, the cost of restitution, possibly even jail” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine

The six men being charged are Christian Manzi, Rocco Schuster, William Rodriguez-Ortiz, Byron Garcia-Perez and Calvin Cobb. They’re facing charges that range from unlawful disposal of solid waste to dumping construction debris.

If anyone see’s or has any tips regarding dumping in the Pine Barrens then you should contact Suffolk Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS


Source: News 12

Visitors to New York’s Jones Beach State Park has two new attractions for this summer season. A splash park on the boardwalk and the reopening of the Boardwalk Cafe.

“We’re really trying to restore the history, majesty, and glory, and introduce recreational activities, food and dining opportunities tailored to the 21st century,” Rose Harvey, commissioner of the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said, after the cafe’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Roughly 90 years ago, master builder Robert Moses had created Jones Beach, the pride, and joy of Moses massive state parks system.

The cafe’s renovation, and the splash parks creation was part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s $65 million renovation plan for the park, which is nearly completed and has already spent roughly $55-$65 million.

Other renovations and improvements include restoring the West Bathhouse, upgrading public bathrooms and adding boccie, cornhole, and shuffleboard to the western play areas, while keeping the mini-golf course, which honors other states parks by placing their signage at the holes of the course. The plan also includes restoring the original details of the Central Mall mosaics, and other infrastructure that has deteriorated over time.

the Beaux Arts Boardwalk Cafe originally sat at the location, but was destroyed in the 1960’s by a fire, and has been a hole in the ground since 2004.

According to the LiRo Group, the new cafe has cost $18 million and is designed to withstand hurricanes. Built on 52, 12-inch steel piles that were drilled 45 feet into the ground.

$2.8 million was allocated for the splash park, that encompasses 2,000 square feet. The new splash park has a total of 20 sprayers that shoot 85 gallons a minute and costs nothing extra to park visitors.

Harvey is also said in an interview with Newsday, that the parks department is looking at ways to phase out the use of plastic.

New York State’s Robert Moses Park has a brand new, and barely used, a marina that’s open for overnight stays.

According to the Long Island Deputy Regional Director of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, George Gorman, there has only been a total of seven (7) boaters that have booked overnight stays. The total number of nights booked so far were eight (8) nights.

Gorman hopes that the long long Independence Day holiday weekend entices boaters to stay overnight.

The marina’s location is a prime spot for an overnight stay, being so close to Field 3. Gorman is quoted by Newsday “Once the boaters spend the night there, they will come back – and tell their friends”

While the West Marina provides a docking location for small boats, it does not allow for overnight stays. The newly renovated East Marina allows up to 42-foot boats to stay for up to a week and only cost $75 a night from Thursday to Sunday, then $35 a night for Monday through Wednesday.

The parks department is limiting the amount of time a boater can stay for seven days in a row. They would have to spend a minimum of 48 hours somewhere else before returning to the newly renovated marina again.

The marina is only available through Columbus Day Weekend.

If you’d to make a reservation, or get a list of their regulations you can call 631-669-0449

IT STANDS like a sentry on watch, a solitary figure on the easternmost bluffs of Long Island. Commissioned 190+ years ago by President George Washington, the Montauk Lighthouse has become one of the most photographed structures in America because of its dramatic location.

But the peril of that site is causing concern over the future of the lighthouse once again.

On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that $24 million in state and federal funding has been secured to begin construction on rebuilding the rocks that protect the Montauk Point Lighthouse, as well as reconstructing the areas ocean banks.

Agreements had to be made with the State of New York, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Montauk Historical Society.

“Generations of visitors have experienced the culture and beauty of Montauk Point, and New York is committed to ensuring this historic landmark remains a sought-after attraction on Long Island for decades to come,” Cuomo said. “This investment provides the resources needed to secure the ocean bank, protect the historic structures at the Montauk Point Lighthouse site, and preserve New York history for future generations of visitors.”

When the lighthouse was first constructed, the sentry sat roughly 300 feet away from the water’s edge, today it sits less than 100 feet, which can create a dangerous situation for visitors as well as structures.

The preservation project will cost an estimated $24 million. The majority of the project will be funded by the federal government (65%) while the remainder will be funded by the Department of Conservation (35%)

State’s Largest Expansion of Artificial Reefs Will Provide New Habitats, Restore Fishery Resources, and Bolster the Region’s Economies

More Than 43,000 Cubic Yards of Clean, Recycled Tappan Zee Bridge Material and 5,900 Cubic Yards of Jetty Rock Will Support Construction of 6 Artificial Reefs

Governor’s Announcement to Support Environmental Protection and the State’s Marine Ecosystems Made in Conjunction with Earth Week

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the largest expansion of artificial reefs in state history to improve New York’s diverse marine life and boost Long Island’s recreational and sport fishing industries. In New York’s first ever, comprehensive program to construct artificial reefs, the Governor has launched an initiative to deploy materials including tugboats, barges, and scows, as well as concrete and clean, recycled materials from the demolition of the former Tappan Zee Bridge. These materials will support the development of six artificial reefs on Long Island at sites off the shores of Smithtown, Shinnecock, Moriches, Fire Island, Hempstead, and Rockaway.

Launched during Earth Week, this initiative builds on the Governor’s record $300 million Environmental Protection Fund investment, $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act, more than $2 million NY Sea Grant program to mitigate Long Island brown tide, and actions taken to ban off-shore drilling along New York’s coastline.

“The sustainability and health of New York’s marine resources is critical to communities along our shores, and by constructing these reef habitats, we are investing in a stronger more diverse marine ecosystem,” Governor Cuomo said. “As the largest artificial reef construction program in state history, these efforts will increase New York’s marine biodiversity, provide new habitats for a variety of coral and fish, and support a growing tourism industry that brings thousands of anglers and travelers to Long Island’s pristine waters every year.”

At the Governor’s direction, and with unprecedented, multi-agency coordination, recycled materials from the Department of Transportation, Canal Corporation, and the Thruway Authority will be used to develop New York’s artificial reef sites and increase the biodiversity of these habitats for a variety of fish and lobsters. Construction of New York’s first artificial reef dates back to 1949, and this latest initiative marks the state’s first coordinated effort to stimulate the full environmental and economic benefits of artificial reefs.

New York’s marine resources are critical to the state’s economy, supporting nearly 350,000 jobs and generating billions of dollars through tourism, fishing and other industries. More than 500,000 anglers in the region will reap the benefits of this new initiative, supporting the region’s growing marine economy which accounts for approximately 9.7 percent of Long Island’s total GDP.

“The sustainability and health of New York’s marine resources is critical to communities along our shores, and by constructing these reef habitats, we are investing in a stronger more diverse marine ecosystem…”

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Beginning in May, state agencies will start to deploy 33 barges of Tappan Zee Bridge recycled materials and 30 vessels that have been cleaned of all contaminants. A total of 43,200 cubic yards of recycled Tappan Zee Bridge material, 338 cubic yards of steel pipe from DOT, and 5,900 cubic yards of jetty rock will be submerged and added to six reef sites as part of the first phase of this initiative. The six artificial reefs that will be developed include:

Smithtown Reef 
Three canal vessels and one barge of steelwill be deployed to expand the artificial reef between June 8-15. The 3-acre reef is located 1.6 nautical miles from shore with a depth of 38-40 feet.

Shinnecock Reef
One barge of the Tappan Zee Bridge material, one barge of steel pipes and two canal vessels will be deployed to expand the artificial reef beginning Wednesday, May 2. The 35-acre reef is located 2 nautical miles from shore with a depth of 79-84 feet.

Moriches Reef
Two barges of Tappan Zee Bridge material and two canal vessels will be deployed in July and August to expand the artificial reef. The 14-acre reef is located 2.4 nautical miles from shore with a depth of 70-75 feet.

Fire Island Reef
Ten barges of Tappan Zee Bridge material, 11 canal vessels, one barge of steel and four barges of jetty rock will be deployed to expand the artificial reef between June 26-28. The 744-acre reef is located 2 nautical miles from shore with a depth of 62-73 feet.

Hempstead Reef
Twelve barges of Tappan Zee Bridge material and 11 canal vessels will be deployed in July and August to expand the artificial reef. The 744-acre reef is located 3.3 nautical miles from shore with a depth of 50-72 feet.

Rockaway Reef
One barge of Tappan Zee Bridge material will be deployed in July and August to expand the artificial reef. The 413-acre reef is located 1.6 nautical miles from shore with a depth of 32-40 feet.

DEC manages New York’s Artificial Reef Program, which includes two reefs in the Long Island Sound, two in the Great South Bay, and eight artificial reefs in the Atlantic Ocean. The major benefits of constructing New York’s artificial reefs include improving the existing habitats in order to increase local marine biodiversity, stimulating more productive and diverse aquatic ecosystems, and promoting environmental sustainability through fish habitat improvement.

The reefs are built out of hard, durable structures such as rock, concrete, and steel pipes, and usually in the form of surplus or scrap materials that are cleaned of contaminants. After materials and vessels settle to the sea floor, larger fish like blackfish, cod, and striped bass move in to build habitats within the new structures, and encrusting organisms such as barnacles, sponges, anemones, corals, and mussels cling to and cover the material. Over time, all these structures will create habitat similar to a natural reef.

Artificial reef construction is part of Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. For more information about DEC’s Artificial Reef Program visit DEC’s website here.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Governor Cuomo recognizes that expanding Long Island’s artificial reefs will bolster the economies of our fisheries. This is a wonderful and innovative way to reuse materials from state infrastructure projects. Our communities, anglers, and environment all stand to benefit from this effort and the State’s expanded Artificial Reef Program.”

Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, “This is government at its best: smart, efficient and environmentally mindful. In addition to transferring deck panels from the Tappan Zee Bridge to local governments for reuse, the Thruway Authority is taking advantage of another unique opportunity to recycle bridge materials to improve and protect the environment. I commend Governor Cuomo for allowing the historic Tappan Zee Bridge to live on as artificial reefs off the coast of Long Island, economically contributing to these communities for decades to come.”

Senator Tom F. O’Mara, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee said, “From environmental conservation to transportation infrastructure, New York State is leading the way on putting existing materials back into use in creative, cost-effective, innovative and effective ways.”

Assemblyman Steven Englebright, Chair of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee said, “I am thrilled to see that the cleaned and inspected materials from the Tappan Zee Bridge and other old infrastructure are going to be repurposed for such a great project. Artificial reefs provide incredible opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist such as research, diving, and angling. They also create habitats that foster vibrant, diverse ecosystems. This is a great example of upcycling and I look forward to seeing the results of it.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “The Governor has been with us for every challenge we have faced, from infrastructure to water quality to providing the resources we need in order to improve our Long Island communities, and this announcement continues the state’s commitment to protect New York’s natural assets. Governor Cuomo’s commitment to build up our artificial reefs will provide new habitats for fish species, helping them grow in numbers and provide Long Island’s booming recreational and sport fishing industries even more to look forward to. I thank all state agencies involved in developing these reefs and look forward to the economic benefits this initiative will bring to our communities.”

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, “Long Island’s legendary fishing industry is world renowned. With the addition of these clean, recycled materials, the artificial reefs off our shores will develop into larger habitats and help our marine life diversify and grow. I thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing the opportunity to expand these aquatic environments and am thrilled to welcome more visitors to Long Island’s coastal communities for years to come.”

Smithtown Supervisor Edward R. Wehrheim said, “These canal vessels and other recycled materials are the perfect habitat for Long Island’s coral and fish species, and by using them to expand our precious reefs, our community looks forward to increased biodiversity in our waters. I invite everyone to travel to Smithtown this year, enjoy our local businesses, explore our beautiful shores, and cast a line in the waters that Governor Cuomo has done so much to help protect.”

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said, “Under the Governor’s leadership, we have seen Long Island’s tourism and fishing industries steadily grow year after year, and this latest initiative is sure to boost our local economies and attract even more anglers and travelers to our communities. I look forward to having these recycled materials lowered into our waters, as they develop into new and expanded reefs, and help increase the biodiversity of our environment for years to come.”

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen said, “I thank the Governor for investing in our water quality and committing resources to construct our reef into an even larger underwater environment. This initiative is exactly the kind of investment our artificial reefs need to develop, grow and increase Long Island’s marine biodiversity. We look forward to even more successful fishing experiences for everyone.”

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward Romaine said, “This project announced by Gov. Cuomo today is a positive step towards protecting our shoreline and improving fish habitat. By creating this artificial reef, wave action will be broken up, protecting our shoreline from erosion during major storm events. The reef will also attract fish to this new protective environment, increasing their population and helping our recreational fishing industry.”

Ocean Beach Mayor James S. Mallott said, “Our beautiful waters, and the plethora of fish available for sport and recreation fishing, attract thousands of anglers to Long Island every year. I applaud Governor Cuomo and our state agencies for working together to clean and recycle materials that will help construct and develop artificial reefs off our shore. This new initiative will entice even more visitors to our community and we look forward to welcoming outdoor enthusiasts of all ages for generations to come.”

Bill Ulfelder, Executive Director for The Nature Conservancy in New York said, “The Nature Conservancy applauds Governor Cuomo’s announcement of work to expand artificial reefs off Long Island. The reefs benefit marine life, hook and line fisherman, and the fishing and recreation economies. On Long Island and across New York our economy, health, and way of life all depend on nature. Like other initiatives recently announced by Governor Cuomo aimed at improving water quality and revitalizing shellfish and ocean life, today’s announcement is a win for New York’s fishermen, coastal communities and oceans.”

Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said, “Our oceans, fisheries and healthy estuaries are at the heart of our maritime culture. Restoration efforts and programs to increase biodiversity such as this are invaluable to life on Long Island, our sustainability and our future. CCE applauds the Governor for his focus and commitment to our marine environment.”

New York Sportfishing Federation President Capt. Joe Paradiso said, “The New York Sportfishing Federation applauds Governor Cuomo for his efforts in reinvigorating the artificial reef program here in the New York Marine District. This initiative will replenish and restore our existing reefs, a long overdue need, benefiting our recreational anglers as well as improving the ecosystems that these reefs support. We hope the success of this ‘first step’ will lead to the creation of new artificial reefs in the future, further increasing biodiversity and fishing access for NY’s anglers.”

Rocket Charters President and New York’s Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Representative, Capt. Tony DiLernia said, “The marine environment is harsh and our artificial reefs collapse with time. To remain productive, the reefs must have materials added to them every few years. Recent administrations, prior to Governor Cuomo’s, were unable to find ways to address New York’s crumbling artificial reefs. The announcement to grow and add to the artificial reefs surrounding Long Island is another example of Governor Cuomo’s desire to create as many opportunities as possible for our fishermen. By adding to these reefs, the amount of fish available will increase and family fishing outings will be successful.”

Mountain bike trails on four New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)-managed properties in Suffolk County reopened on April 6, DEC Regional Director Carrie Meek Gallagher announced today.

The trail closures had been in place due to small game and deer shotgun hunting seasons and to prevent excessive impacts to trails due to the annual spring thaw cycle.

“DEC makes every effort to manage its 16,843-acres of upland properties in the most sustainable manner possible. The annual closure period of the mountain biking trails in the fall prevents conflict between hunting groups and cyclists and the continued closure into early spring allows the trails to stay less rutted, which increases trail safety,” Director Gallagher said.

The DEC properties where mountain bike trail closures have been lifted are:

  • Otis Pike Preserve
  • Rocky Point Pine Barrens State Forest
  • Eastport Pine Barrens State Forest

Mountain biking is allowed year-round on DEC’s Edgewood Oak Brush Plains Preserve, which features approximately 12.3 miles of mountain biking trails and on DEC’s Calverton Pine Barrens State Forest. Trails on these properties are maintained by Concerned Long Island Mountain Bikers (C.L.I.M.B) and DEC.

Bicyclists on DEC property must:

  • Ride only on marked bicycling trails, except on the Otis Pike Preserve where only established roads may be used;
  • Cyclists must wear hard-shell helmets and eye protection and shall yield to official vehicles and equipment, horseback riders and hikers; and
  • Ride only between the hours of dawn and dusk.

DEC Forest Rangers may potentially close trails for limited time periods throughout the year due to poor trail conditions or so that Forest Rangers and other DEC staff can conduct activities such as prescribed fire operations without impacting firefighters and bicyclists.

Recreational activities on most DEC-owned lands on Long Island require an individual to have a NYS DEC – Managed Land Access Permit. Access permits are free and are valid for three years and must be carried at-all-times.

Permits are required for anyone 12 years old or older.

See DEC’s website for additional information on Region 1’s three-year access permits and recreational opportunities on DEC-managed properties, please contact the Region 1’s Natural Resources Department at (631) 444-0270

General Introduction to Camp Upton’s History

Located in the eastern portion of the town of Brookhaven sits what is now known as Brookhaven National Laboratory or BNL. The lab exists on 5,265 acres of land that was once occupied by Camp Upton—a military encampment that was named after a Civil War general, Emory Upton. The initial purpose of the camp was to train American soldiers during the First World War, and it was reactivated for the Second World War for training purposes, for a hospital, and for an internment camp for Japanese Americans.

After World War II ended, the camp was no longer needed. Its buildings and materials were taken apart and sold at auction to the highest bidder, and the material was shipped as far as Washington State. Since the land was already owned by the federal government and was in a pristine location, local politicians wanted to continue using the camp. It was decided to convert it into a research facility for peaceful uses of atomic energy, thus creating the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Eventually, the land and facility were turned over to the Department of Energy.

The Mystery behind Camp Upton’s Three Train Stations

It all started when I moved to East Yaphank. Being an explorer and a huge history buff, I wanted to venture out, especially knowing that Camp Upton once covered my house’s land. Venturing outside, I took a trail that followed the Long Island Rail Road’s tracks east. I stumbled upon a strange structure just to the south and decided to check it out. To my surprise, it was a solid, concrete structure that had three walls still standing with amazing arches and graffiti everywhere. My mind went whirling. What is this, and why is it here? Trying to keep logical, I thought it may be a building from when Manorville was farmland, or maybe, just maybe it was an abandoned structure from the old Camp Upton. Maybe this was where all the troops came in from. What a grand sight that would’ve been. Everything supported this; it even had a stop for the train to bud against.

Searching online, I found near to nothing regarding this mysterious structure; however, over time, I kept visiting it and eventually found an old water tower along with a pump house. The Internet sources I consulted only showed Upton Junction and the camp’s station itself, both being on the northern side of the tracks. So what could this structure be?

Fast-forward to a couple years later. My friend wanted to know where this was. Seeing as I enjoy a nice walk through some abandon places, I decided to show them and to try and take some more pictures. Once again, my mind was wondering what this place could have been. He, too, was wondering. I posed the possibility of it being a train station once again but cautioned that I was not 100 percent positive. We also made our way back to the junction where the turned-over water tower still lies on its side. This time, I noticed a trench I forgot about—a trench that once belonged to the western “wye” of the Upton spur. I realized this was more feasible since the tower is too far from the main track to reach. Doubt was in my mind, however, since today’s entrance—once the eastern entrance—is a lot farther east. I was right to assume this to be the western spur; however, after reflecting on numerous historical images and maps.


Upton Junction—looking east. West leg of WYE on the left with the LIRR “Main Line” on the right.
Circa 1968 by Dave Keller


Knowing that the junction was definitely the eastern and western entrance into the original camp made searching for this structure a tad easier. I just had to search what was to the west of the junction and find out what exactly sat there. An easy feat? Not really. Searching for maps that have identifying marks is hard; finding maps that have words and labels from that time period is nearly impossible.

Starting off with maps, I noticed from a website I use that a few maps dated 1904 and 1926 showed a small square situated exactly where my mystery building sat. However, on a 1949 map of the same spot, the building disappeared. This tells us that this structure dates back to 1904 and was closed and forgotten about sometime between 1926 and 1949.

Digging a bit deeper we come across a map that was published with an outline of Camp Upton itself. The camp stretched from today’s Route 25 all the way down to the Long Island Rail Road; then for some reason, there was a smaller portion that stretched down to Montauk Highway. It seemed to make the camp form an “L” shape. This map produced by the Department of Interior also showed a structure located between today’s North Street (once Manorville Road) and the Long Island Rail Road’s main branch.

This is where things get a little out of control.

Searching further, we finally found proof of a separate station located on the Long Island Rail Road’s main line; this station was once called Upton Road Station. According to records, it was located just east of Upton Road—once the main entrance to the army reservation, prior to William Floyd being built. There are records of this with the Long Island Rail Road itself on memos and tickets.

While the fact of Camp Upton having more than two stations is a little-known fact, it’s even rarer to have the knowledge of a third station. A little memo is the perfect indication, dated January 22, 1918, by the Long Island Rail Road Office of Superintendent: “Extra train leaving Camp Upton Terminal at 5.10 P.M for Manorville will make “s” stop at Camp Upton Station on Main Line.” Camp Upton Terminal? Camp Upton Station on Main Line? What are these places? We know that the railroad would be pretty specific with names when communicating information so nobody was to get confused, so what is this Camp Upton Station on the Main Line, and why was it making a stop there on its way to Manorville Station? This is when newspaper digging comes in handy, but before that, I did a quick search once more, which is when I realized I had missed an article that was linked to from one of the sites. The article in question is one dated August 23, 1917, and was published in the Engineering News-Record Vol. 79. This was the key to everything. In this article, it shows a map of the camp exactly as it was in the one produced by the Department of the Interior’s 1904 map, the only difference being that this mysterious building, sitting on the southern side of the Long Island Rail Road’s main branch, had a label on it showing “Camp Upton R. R. Station.”

Now, what about the Upton Road Station? We know about the Camp Upton R. R. Station and now know where it is located, but what about the Upton Road Station that we read about before? Well, apparently in 1918, the Long Island Rail Road had plans to relocate the station. In a memo dated May 24, 1918, the Office of Superintendent of the Long Island Rail Road made announcements that effective May 28, 1918, “New station and platform designated as UPTON ROAD located on north side of main track at a point about two miles west of the present Camp Upton station on Main Line is in service. Trains will stop at Upton Road and discontinue making stop at the former Camp Upton Station. Passengers will be received and discharged from north side of trains at new station. The terminal station at the camp is designated as “Camp Upton.”’

A map of Camp Upton—Engineering News-Record circa 1977

Upton Junction

The Upton Junction was an intricate and vital interchange for the Long Island Rail Road and Camp Upton while it was active for both World Wars. Here conductors and guards would turn a switch on the tracks that would allow the locomotives to leave the main line and enter the camp. Once in the camp, the trains would travel a small distance to the Camp Upton Terminal where it would unload recruits and materials for the camp itself.


Based on the facts that were provided and researched on, I can safely conclude that Camp Upton, now Brookhaven National Laboratory, once had a total of three passenger rail stations: one station being the Camp Upton Terminal located inside the reservation itself, another being the Camp Upton R. R. Station, and the final one being the Upton Road Station. We can also conclude that the stations were part of a more intricate system with the Camp Upton Junction, which helped with the numerous trains that entered and exited the camp during its active days.




Queens Library


Other Sources

Southern Pine Beetle Community Recovery Grants totaling more than $275,000 have been awarded to five projects in Nassau and Suffolk counties that will assist with recovery efforts from southern pine beetle (SPB) damage, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

“The cost of managing the negative impacts of the southern pine beetle is a significant hardship faced by Long Island communities,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership in providing these grants through New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), the State is offering critical assistance to alleviate the burden of removing hazard trees and helping to protect the remaining canopy and the ecological and economical services these trees provide.”

These grants are part of New York’s ongoing initiatives to address this invasive pest and provide funding directly to impacted communities. The objectives and goals of the awarded projects coincide with DEC Lands and Forests’ ongoing active management to slow the spread of SPB.

Project activities will focus on addressing safety issues associated with dead trees, cutting infested trees to reduce beetle populations, and replanting native pine barrens species in impacted areas. All of these efforts will help protect and restore the Central Pine Barrens, which is vital to protecting water quality, wildlife habitat, endangered species, and recreational opportunities.

DEC staff reviewed six completed grant applications and selected five recipients based on established rating criteria, including cost-effectiveness, projected benefits, use of recommended standards in implementation, community outreach, education, support, and regional economic impact. A full list of funded projects is below:

Recipient County Project Award
Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, NY Suffolk Southern Pine Beetle Initiative @ The Sisters of St. Joseph $75,000
Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District Nassau Southern Pine Beetle Suppression and Management in Peter J. Schmitt Massapequa Preserve $60,644
Bayard Cutting Arboretum Horticultural Society, Inc. Suffolk NYS Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Paradise Island $60,820
Town of Southampton Suffolk Removal of Hazard Trees at Good Ground Park and Foster Avenue Park $28,050
Town of Easthampton Suffolk Open Space SPB Management $64,000
Last year, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo targeted $3 million from the Environmental Protection Fund to help manage the spread of SPB on Long Island. The additional funds bolstered DEC’s ongoing efforts to manage the invasive pest, which has killed thousands of pine trees on Long Island since it was first discovered in 2014. The 2018-19 budget proposes an additional $250,000 for prescribed burns to address SPB.

DEC is continuing to inventory the health of the pitch pine stands and designate areas for thinning. Much like weeding a garden, thinning overcrowded and low vigor stands increases the health of the remaining trees, which are then more resilient to SPB attack. SPB management includes removing infested trees, thinning overcrowded pitch pine stands, and using prescribed fire to maintain healthy Pine Barrens.

The Central Pine Barrens are vital in the protection of Long Island’s sole source aquifer, provide habitat for many endangered species, and offer a variety of recreational opportunities.