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Dr. Jeffrey Levinton

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization (WMHO) recently announced the creation of the WMHO West Meadow Field Guide and GCIS Survey. Working hand-in-hand, these creations will allow the public to identify and record environmental and ecological data.

Using the field guide to identify plants and animal species within the preserve, the public can store species and water quality data on the GCIS Survey webpage. The survey will be available soon on the WMHO website (WMHO.org). During preliminary testing, Ms. Megan Frey of the Frey Family Foundation found and recorded calanoid, a microscopic arthropod, within her first sample of wetlands water.

The announcement at the WMHO’s Earth Day event —Wetlands Legacies — at the Dr. Erwin Ernst Marine Conservation Center at West Meadow Creek Preserve on April 22. 

The event included guest speakers Megan Frey and Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolution Dr. Jeffrey Levinton, as well as a specially created drone video of the wetlands habitats by Nathan Levinton. The WMHO Youth Corps led exhibits that educated the public on water quality testing, the species of the area, the expeditions and life of world-renowned naturalist and ornithologist Dr. Robert Cushman Murphy, as well as the environmental challenges of WMHO’s pristine 88-acre wetlands preserve. Murphy, along with Dr. Erwin Ernst and Ward Melville, worked together in 1960 to create the West Meadow Creek Preserve.

Elected officials in attendance included former New York State Assemblyman, Steve Englebright,  Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine and Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, who spoke about the various aspects of Long Island’s ecology and environments, as well as Dr. Murphy’s role in protecting them.