Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification


Patrolling the South Shore & Peconic Bays

aka Peconic-Great South Baykeeper

Hampton Bays, NY


Peconic Baykeeper is a 501 (C)(3) Not-For-Profit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring Long Island's swimmable, drinkable and fishable waters. Established in 1998 as Long Island's clean water advocate, Peconic Baykeeper uses science, education and law to defend critical watersheds from the Peconic Estuary through the South Shore Bays. Peconic Baykeeper is a proud member of the international Waterkeeper movement, working actively with civic groups, baymen, businesses, children, and the community at large to protect and restore water quality and the island's watersheds.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Sean E. O'Neill

Main Address

PO Box 939 167 Red Creek Rd.

Hampton Bays, NY 11946 USA

Formerly Known As

Peconic Baykeeper


Environment, estuary ,water, stormwater, litigation





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (O01)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Long Island's declining water quality trends:
• Nitrogen, a leading contaminant of groundwater, has increased by as much as 200% in our drinking water supplies;
• Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have doubled in concentration and quadrupled in frequency;
• Science has detected the presence of 117 pesticide-related compounds in our drinking water supplies;
• Nassau and Suffolk Counties have more Super Fund sites (254) than any other region in New York State;
• Our once renowned clam, scallop and lobster harvests have all been reduced by more than 95% over the last 30 years;
• Harmful algal blooms, undetected in our waters prior to 1984, now impact virtually all of our coastal waters;
• In the summer of 2014, there were 144 beach closures due to elevated levels of bacteria and the litany of our lakes, rivers and surface waters designated as "impaired" by New York State continues to grow each year.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Peconic Baykeeper's Outreach & Education Program

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

We stand at an interesting crossroads for water quality on Long Island. While public awareness of the many issues our waters are facing is at an all time high, actual implementation of water quality improvement plans have not nearly kept pace with additional pollution loads. Peconic Baykeeper is dedicated solely to the protection and improvement of our water resources on Long Island. Water is our only mission. We are the specialists, and we need your help to make sure water quality stays on the top of our politician's environmental agendas, and does not become another “cause de jour". By donating to Peconic Baykeeper, you are helping to continue the fight for clean water, today and into the future. Cheers to swimmable, drinkable, and fishable waters!

In addition to participation as stakeholders in the environmental decision making and review process, Peconic Baykeeper chooses to lead by action -oriented example! Our Blue Water Task Force bacterial monitoring program regularly tests waterways used by the public for pathogenic bacteria, our North Sea Beach colony septic improvement project has taken a community approach to have the greatest impact on reducing nitrogen loading in our waterways, and our Pilot Oyster Aquaculture Project has created environmentally sustainable jobs in Great Peconic Bay. Today's children are the future of our waterways and we are actively involved in various outreach events and the "Day in the Life of..." programs that foster student-led citizen science in our waterways and reach thousands of students every year.

With combined backgrounds in Environmental Economics and Policy, Marine Science Biology, and Education both in and outside of the classroom, our full-time staff is well-suited to meet the challenges of protecting our waterways from many angles. It is a diverse set of challenges that threaten and impair our waterways and it takes an equally diverse skill set to protect them! As a Waterkeeper Organization, we are hands-on with our waterways including maintaining an active presence on our waterways with our official Baykeeper vessel. This ability allows us to respond to marine pollution events in real-time, enhancing the likelihood that polluters are held accountable for their actions.

Organizational progress indicators include the following: 1. Grow our membership base annually to expand program capabilities 2. Facilitate the installation of more nitrogen reducing septic systems by serving as a resource base for information 3. Restore more stream access to diadramous fish through our active involvement in monitoring programs and as a partner in the Diadramous Fish Work Group 4. Expand bacterial monitoring beaches annually so raise awareness for threatened water bodies not currently tested by Suffolk County 5. Connect with a growing number of students annually through educational outreach events both in and outside of the classroom

Peconic Baykeeper is committed to protecting and restoring the waters of the Peconic Estuary and South Shore Bays. Since our founding in 1998, we have campaigned for the end of mosquito ditching by Suffolk County, an activity that threatens the stability and ecology of our vital marshes. We have become experts and advocates for the implementation of nitrogen-reducing advanced septic systems, installing a unit at our headquarters in addition to leading a community-wide improvement project in Southampton. We have also pushed for local municipalities to adopt a net nitrogen-reduction

External Reviews


EPA Environmental Quality Award 2008

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)




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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?