A community-based 10-year plan to protect and restore a Long Island estuary

The Peconic Estuary lies at the ecological and economic heart of eastern Long Island, New York. We helped a partnership comprising local communities, state and county agencies, and US EPA articulate their vision and plan to revitalize and safeguard it.


Peconic Estuary Partnership


Much had changed in the 20 years since the last Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) had been produced for the Peconic Estuary, a Congressionally designated estuary of national significance. When the Peconic Estuary Program—now the Peconic Estuary Partnership—embarked on a two-year, highly collaborative, public process to develop a new CCMP, they engaged us to help shape the plan’s structure and language.


From the start, PEP’s staff knew the new CCMP needed to be streamlined, well focused, and written in a lively, accessible style for people with widely varying backgrounds. Bringing us into the process during its earliest stages was advantageous. We read, listened, and learned as much as possible about PEP’s history, programs, priorities, and organizational culture, and about the Peconic Estuary’s people, ecosystem, and natural resource management issues. Over the next two years, we attended and made presentations at stakeholder advisory group meetings. We worked closely with PEP staff to create a framework for the CCMP and then to build out the framework into the actual plan. Crucially, we did as much listening as writing and editing, ensuring that the plan reflected the viewpoints of the people involved.

CCMP Process Diagram


The new Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan and a Public Summary were submitted successfully to EPA. The carefully crafted CCMP positions PEP for a decade of achievements that will benefit the people and ecosystem of eastern Long Island—and beyond.

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