Group for the East End is committed to protecting and restoring the places where wildlife live, and educating the public about their plight.



The Group works with East End schools and communities to “go strawless.” Between two and four hundred million plastic straws are used every day in the U.S., usually for just a few minutes, but they can take centuries to break down. Straws and other single-use plastics end up in landfills and in our waters, where marine birds, fish, sea turtles, and scores of other wildlife regularly ingest or become entangled in this harmful debris, leading to injury or even death.

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protecting plovers and terns

Through a contract with the Town of Southold, the Group manages and monitors the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s designated beach-nesting bird sites within the Town. Throughout the nesting season, trained staff and volunteers observe and record the reproductive success and productivity of individual Piping Plover pairs and Least Tern colonies, as well as document the sightings of Roseate Terns and other migrating and nesting colonial water birds.

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planting and habitat restoration projects

The deterioration of our planet is reversible! When you participate in the Group’s planting and habitat restoration projects you’re restoring the fragile balance in our natural environment and preventing erosion. You’re also rebuilding the places where wildlife live and breed, ensuring they don’t disappear from our area. The Group involves hundreds of school children and community volunteers in these projects on the South Fork, North Fork and Shelter Island.

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success of the osprey

The Osprey are back from the brink. In response to the lack of nesting sights during breeding season, the Group began building and maintaining scores of Osprey nesting platforms across the East End. This effort has been critical to the Osprey’s recovery from its status during the 1970s as an endangered species in New York State. We welcome their strong presence in the ecosystem, which helps to maintain a healthy East End environment.

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To raise awareness about wildlife species on the verge of disappearing from the East End, the Group created the New York State Wildlife Action Plan website,, a comprehensive wildlife conservation strategy that addresses the future of species whose populations are at critically low levels due to overdevelopment, industrial operations, climate change, invasive species and shifts in natural habitats.


horseshoe crab monitoring

From May to late June, horseshoe crabs spawn during high on the new and full moon. The Group leads horseshoe crab citizen science projects at South Harbor Beach in Southold to count and tag these nocturnal creatures, recording valuable data about the species to help determine the management and conservation of this important species throughout the New York region.