07/10/17 12:27pm

Local marine biologist and northforker outdoors columnist Chris Paparo spotted two notable sights just south of Dune Road last week — a pod of about 100 bottlenose dolphins slapping their tails against the water and a humpback whale leaping in the air.

Paparo saw the animals on Wednesday, July 5 and again on Thursday, July 6 in the water about a half mile south of Westhampton Beach and Hampton Bays. (more…)

08/25/15 6:00am
A mason bee. (Credit: Stock photo)

A mason bee. (Credit: Stock photo)

Spurred in part by concerns over declining bee populations, backyard beekeeping has surged in recent years. And while enthusiasts have traditionally focused on honey bees, more people are now raising mason bees in a trendy practice called bee ranching.

“Mason bees are the unsung heroes of bees,” said Laura Klahre of Blossom Meadow Honey and Coffee Pot Cellars Winery in Cutchogue. “They are a good alternative to honey bees or even a way to augment the work of other pollinating bees.”

Mason bees don’t produce honey, but they’re pollinating powerhouses. And these tiny, docile bluish-black bees rarely sting ­— eliminating the need for bee suits and other protective gear. (more…)

08/23/15 6:02am
A scallop spotted in Peconic Bay. (Credit: Chris Paparo photos)

A scallop spotted in Peconic Bay. (Credit: Chris Paparo photos)

Born and raised on Long Island, I have been exploring the wilds of Long Island for over 30 years. My passion for coastal ecology, but more importantly fishing, led me to obtain a BS in marine science from Long Island University at Southampton. Through my photography, writing and lecturing I enjoy bringing public awareness to the diverse wildlife that calls the island home.

One of the most important marine habitats of Long Island is the Peconic Estuary. Beginning at the headwaters of the Peconic River (located near the Brookhaven National Laboratory), the estuary separates the North and South forks of Long Island and ends at an invisible line that is drawn between Montauk and Plum Island. Containing over 280,000 acres of watershed and estuary, it is vital habitat for countless aquatic and terrestrial species. The following photographs are just a few of the fascinating marine inhabitants of the Peconic Estuary. (more…)