New “Citizen Scientist” Initiative to Document Coastal Change in the Peconic Estuary

Pete Topping Executive Director & Baykeeper using the "chronolog" to capture images of the bay.

Peter Topping – Peconic Baykeeper:

Executive Director & Baykeeper using the “chronolog”

Hampton Bays, New York- The Hampton Bays based not-for-profit environmental advocate Peconic Baykeeper, with grant support from the Peconic Estuary Partnership is proud to announce the launch of Project R.I.S.E. (Recording Inundation Surrounding the Estuary), an innovative community science and outreach initiative aimed at engaging the East End community in documenting coastal changes surrounding the Peconic Estuary.

To date, Peconic Baykeeper has worked with nine different site partners for this project which will use a community science platform called “chronolog” to capture images from each site over an initial project timeline of five years (although the organization plans to continue this project indefinitely). Participants visiting any one of the project’s current 15 stations align a smartphone in a fixed cradle and are then prompted to submit their photo via email. Once submitted, user photos are arranged in a chronological time lapse sequence on a dedicated site webpage managed by Peconic Baykeeper. Submitted photos can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection. Users will also get a submission verification and link to each respective station’s webpage upon the submission of a photo.

Chronolog station

Contributors remain anonymous and no account is needed. “Climate change and sea level rise should be a major topic of concern for all East End residents and especially those who live and near our shorelines. We see these changes happening regularly with increased flooding, extreme weather events, and erosion but this can be a difficult concept for our seasonal residents and developers to embrace” said Pete Topping, Baykeeper & Executive Director of Peconic Baykeeper.

“We hope that this project will better illustrate some of these ongoing changes for our community members and its leaders so that we can proactively make the tough choices we need to in order to adapt before it’s too late”.

Lazy Pt. Project R.I.S.E.  chronolog Peconic Baykeeper

Lazy Point Amagansett – Project R.I.S.E. “chronolog” station

In addition to partnering with a variety of nonprofit landholders including the Peconic Land Trust, the Southampton History Museum, the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund, and the Nature Conservancy, this project has also partnered with public landholders including the Town of East Hampton, Riverhead Parks and Recreation, and Suffolk County Parks among others.

Each site was carefully selected to include both public access for other attributes including scenic, ecological, and historical significance. “These stations highlight some of the most beautiful publicly accessible places remaining in the Peconic Estuary with sites from Montauk to Orient and even Shelter Island. Anyone taking the time to visit all of these sites would gain valuable insight into the ecological diversity that the Peconic Estuary offers.” said Topping. Peconic Baykeeper also intends to incorporate this project into theireducational programming to create a tangible connection to climate change for all ages. “This could be a great long-term project for students in schools around the area to get involved in” he added.

Project R.I.S.E. "chronolog"

Locations of the Chronolog Stations:

*East Hampton:

Landing Lane – Springs

Louse Point – Springs

Lazy Point – Amagansett

Lake Montauk – By Gosman’s –


Elizabeth Morton National Wildlife Refuge

Conscience Point

Map of the current R.I.S.E. chronolog stations on the east end.

The Peconic Estuary, deemed an estuary of national significance by the EPA, faces increasing threats from rising sea levels, intensified storms, and shoreline erosion. This is further exacerbated by coastal development including shoreline hardening. Low to high projections of potential sea level rise through the 2050’s range from 8 to 30 inches respectively (New York State Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA) SLR projections).

Through Project R.I.S.E, Peconic Baykeeper aims to enhance public awareness of this issue through direct community engagement.

To learn more about Project R.I.S.E and Peconic Baykeeper, visit

About Peconic Baykeeper:

Peconic Baykeeper is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring Long Island’s drinkable, swimmable, and fishable waters. Established in 1998, Peconic Baykeeper uses science, education and law to defend critical watersheds from the tips of the Twin Forks through the Great South Bay.

For more information contact:

Peter Topping – Executive Director & Baykeeper: 631-653-4804 (office) 631-605-4747 (cell) Email:

Alexa Annunziata – Director of Outreach 631-653-4804 (office) Email:

Pete Topping of Peconic Baykeeper 2024


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