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Flax Pond Marine Laboratory

Welcome to the web site for the Flax Pond Marine Laboratory located on the north shore of Long Island, at 15 Shore Drive, Old Field, New York, 11733 U.S.A. The marine laboratory is operated for research purposes by the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences of Stony Brook University. The laboratory building and the Flax Pond Tidal Wetland Area are owned by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Flax Pond Marine Lab is an active research and instructional facility involved in investigating fundamental problems affecting marine fisheries on a regional and national scale. The lab is located at Flax Pond, a 0.6 km^2 preserve that encompasses an entire tidal wetland area. The tidal marsh is located between Crane Neck Point (to the west) and Old Field Point (to the east) at 40 deg. 57.778 min. North latitutde and 73 deg. 8.216 min. West longitude.

Three main goals of the laboratory are:

  1. Provide facilities for scientists conducting marine science research;
  2. Provide educational and research training opportunities in marine science for students at all levels
  3. Increase public awareness of marine sciences.

General Description

The Flax Pond Marine Laboratory, built in 1969, is a compact, single-story structure with a total of 725 m2 of space. A central entryway divides the smaller west wing-dry labs and offices-from the largest east wing-wet (running water) labs, seawater system and pumps. Sea water is drawn into the lab through a 10 cm PVC intake pipe from a deep hole in Flax Pond’s main creek 200 meters from the lab.

The three wet labs that make up the east wing are furnished with 28 heavy-duty fiberglass sea tables designed for use as shallow-water tanks or as support for deeper-water aquaria, thus providing maximum flexibility to meet varied changing requirements. The tables range in size from 1 x 3 meters to 1.2 x 6 meters and most are free-standing. All tables are plumbed for continuous, 24-hour, sea water flow through an overhead distribution system of 50 mm PVC pipes.

Two semi-closed recirculating systems have been developed to inlcude specially designed biological filtration towers and particulate removal using sand filters.

The west, dry wing of the building, houses two dry labs, two offices, two walk-in incubators, and bathrooms. In 1980 a 90mgreenhouse was added to the south wall of the west wing, and seawater supply was extended to the greenhouse for the cultivation of seaweeds and marine animals under ambient temperature and photoperiods. Specially designed cultivation towers are available for culturing microalgae and zooplankton.

As an instructional resource, the Flax Pond tidal marsh is the site of regular, but controlled, field trips for marine biology, botany, and ecology classes. Paths, including a 20 m combined bridge and walkway, have been developed to ensure that damage to the area is limited when it is used as an outdoor classroom. Pathways also provide access to the beach on Long Island Sound and to the stone jetties forming the inlet to Flax Pond.

As a research preserve, Flax Pond is a complete salt marsh system in miniature that is well protected from stresses caused by man. These features contributed to its selection as the site for one of the most sophisticated and thorough studies ever undertaken to determine the total energy budget of a salt marsh. It is currently being used by SoMAS scientists to study finfish and shellfish ecology, seaweed growth, and the effects of persistent pollutants, particularly PCB’s, on the growth and species diversity of planktonic communities.

 

Building Specification

  • Heating: hot water radiators throughout the building.
  • Cooling: central air conditioning.
  • Fresh water supply: on-site well and pump equipped with 20 um in-line sock filter for particulate removal. Fresh water for use in maintaining live animals is further treated by passing through a water softener to remove copper and iron ions followed by a passage through a series of calcite and sand filters to increase the total hardness and pH while reducing the presence of particulates.
  • Electric power: 220 and 110 Volt is available throughout the building with GFCI available in selected locations. An emergency generator rated for 50 kW of three phase power is maintained on site and is connected to a double hulled, above ground, 1000 gallon fuel-oil tank.
  • Salt water supply system:
    • Dual intake pipes terminating in a deep hole in the marsh.
    • 12,500 gallon underground storage tank.
    • Intake pumps, 2 capable of continuous operation.
    • Incoming flow rates of 250 gallons per minute, normal operations, and 500 gpm maximum capacity.
    • Filtration systems include: sequential in-line sand filtration, UV filtration, and biological filtration as needed.
    • Thermal regulation of incoming sea water using heat exchangers and chilling units as needed.
    • Sea water salinities from the Flax Pond intake: normal range = 26-28 ppt.; maximum range recorded = 20-30 ppt.

Services and Equipment

Seawater tables:

  • shellfish lab, 13 tables
  • algae lab, 3 tables
  • finfish lab, 15 tables
  • outside, one 7,600 gallon, insulated tank with biological filtration

Note: Two tables are equipped with separate outflow disposal systems for work with toxic materials.

Building equipment: cold room, fume hood, refrigerators, freezer, microscopes, incubator, and reverse osmosis filtration.

Sensors located throughout the facility monitor air and water flow, temperature, and AC power. A central elecronic monitoring station ensures that major building systems are on-line and functioning. Support personnel are on call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Miscellaneous: row boat for collecting in Flax Pond and beach seine.


Rental Rates

Rates include the use of one sea table, tank cluster, or large round tank.  Please contact Steve Abrams for the latest pricing information.

Internal

External

Labs, cold rooms, sea tables, hatcheries,
support tubs

priced per sq ft monthly

priced per sq ft monthly

Greenhouse tanks

priced per sq ft monthly

priced per sq ft monthly

School Tours

priced per group

priced per group

Technical Service

priced per hour

priced per hour

 

 

For questions related to the Flax Pond Marine Laboratory, please contact
Stephen Abrams
15 Shore Drive
Old Field, NY 11733
Phone: 631-675-1285

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