The Great South Bay
Long Island, New York
We are close to the Great South Bay, here's why its such a great destination.
The Great South Bay is one of Long Island’s magnificent summertime playgrounds. A haven for boaters, bathers, and sport fishermen. A source of endless fascination for kids. And in the biting cold of winter, a place for coffee and contemplation near the water’s edge.
Its calm surface extends as far as the eye can see eventually narrowing down to almost nothing at the Smith Point Bridge in Moriches. Looking west the eye stops at the Robert Moses Causeway Bridge way off in the distance, but the Great South Bay doesn’t end there. It stretches about 6 more miles beyond the bridge and into Amityville before its name changes to South Oyster Bay. And that’s just a name change. The bay continues 4 more miles before ending at a series of small islands in Seaford.
Looking dead ahead or south east is Fire Island. On the horizon and almost 4 miles away, Fire Island is the only thing that gives a sense of limit to the glorious Great South Bay. Indeed, at 26 miles long and about 3 miles wide the Great South Bay is the largest bay on Long Island’s south shore.
As one might expect a body of water this size is a significant part of life on Long Island. Thousands enjoy it for summer recreation, it supports a thriving marine transportation industry, and a few stubborn baymen still earn their living on it.
At 151 square miles the Great South Bay is the largest shallow saltwater bay in New York State.
5231 gallons of fresh water flow into the bay every second. 11% of that, or 575 gallons comes in directly through the bay floor.
85 species of fish have been identified in the bay, 40 of which are present on a regular basis.
Average depth is 4 feet,3 inches (4' 3"). The bay is about 20' at its deepest.
Eelgrass is the most common seaweed found in the bay. Fire Island
There are plenty of beaches along the Great South Bay’s perimeter, but the king of them all is Fire Island. Bounding the southern edge of the Great South Bay this 30-mile-long needle of sand is home to some of the finest beaches and most beautiful communities in the world.
Its southern shore is one continuous beach facing the Atlantic. Its north shore is on the Great South Bay and is home to 17 waterfront communities hosting an assortment of fine shops, bars, and restaurants.
Close to a million people visit Fire Island each summer seeking what only Fire Island has to offer. Here you’ll find anything from the perfect solitude of a deserted beach (clothing optional), to the wildest nightlife imaginable, and everything in between.
History buffs and sightseers will enjoy the Fire Island Lighthouse. This 168’ tall lighthouse was built in 1858 and is still an active navigational aid. The lighthouse is open to the public and offers spectacular views of Long Island, Fire Island, and the Great South Bay.