Fishers Island Conservancy Fishers Island


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An Update on the Fishers Island Sentinel Program

The Fishers Island Sentinel Program, led by Justine Kibbe, works to establish a database that encompasses a wide range of observations, which are gathered across twelve sites on Fishers Island. The data includes, but is not limited to, wild life sightings, the presence of marine debris, the varieties of seaweed, the changing water and air temperatures, the various mollusk and crustacean populations, the abundance of sea vessels, and the general seasonal changes year to year. The ability to ask questions that cover a wide range of subjects and answer those questions using already collected data is a significant benefit of noting such a broad range of observations. For example, if a threat against the seagull populations develops, a recorded history of the seagull population on Fishers Island, NY, over several years could be found in the database. The following document uses data collected by Justine Kibbe and individuals in the Island Sentinel Program, from 2012-2016, to establish a better understanding of the local history of the island.


The harbor seal population that returns each late summer-early autumn is a noteworthy species of the island. Over the past few years, the window of their arrival time has ranged from September 2 through September 27, typically occurring near the end of the month. Their departure from the island has ranged from April 4 through April 21. The following table displays the average high and low numbers of seals counted off Hungry Point for 2012-2016 (Fig. 1). It should be noted that the seal count was observed from land, which at times may have limited the view of the entire population of seals present.

Average High and Low Count of Seals at Hungry Point 2012-2016

Fig. 1. Displays the average high and low count of seals viewed at East and West Clumps of Hungry Point, Fishers Island, NY, from 2012-2016.

JUSTINE KIBBE, Fishers Island Naturalist

Justine monitors 12 key sites on Fishers Island, where she records observations and trends of the environment and its unique ecosystems. With the support and efforts of our Island community she bridges local traditional knowledge with Science; helping to preserve natural history while nurturing stewardship for all generations.

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Meet Justine Kibbe, Fishers Island Naturalist
Happy & Healthy Seagrass
"Happy and healthy seagrass meadow" displays oxygen bubbling in 4 ft. waters; northeast Fishers Island. Snorkeling & Video: Soren Dahl, NYS Seagrass Coordinator, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Specialist

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