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Trees serve a vital function in our eco-system. In addition to providing shade, they replace carbon dioxide with oxygen and minimize erosion with their root system. The best way to have healthy, hardy trees is to have trees that are accustomed to this harsh environment.
» click here for our list of trees indigenous to Fire Island

In our efforts to maintain the advantages of having well-established trees, we facilitated passage of tree protection and anti-clear cutting legislation.
» click here to see the "Tree Legislation"

Check out our Flora and Fauna of Fire Island page on Facebook for the latest local news concerning our vegetation and wildlife.

In 2006, as part of our mandate to maintain an inventory of vegetation, we created a "tree inventory" for Ocean Beach. We took photos of every block, thus documenting all the vegetation present at every street corner. We hope to have this information available soon so that you can see the difference between what was there in 2006 versus what is there now.

There are certain insects commonly found on Long Island that are dangerous to our trees:

Pine Bark Beetle: The Southern pine beetle is small beetle that infects pine trees. It is about the size of a grain of rice and is red-brown to black in color. The Southern pine beetle is capable of damaging any pine tree including pitch pine, white pine, red pine, and in high infested areas hemlock and spruce. It does not infest hardwood trees. In New York, pitch pines have been attacked by the beetle more than any other pine tree species. The majority of the pitch pines killed by the Southern pine beetle have been in the Long Island Central Pine Barrens, an ecosystem which contains a variety of habitats that support many rare and unique species. For more information on how to indentify them, and what is being done about the infestation, please click here

Giant Hogweed: Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a federally listed noxious weed. Its sap, in combination with moisture and sunlight, can cause severe skin and eye irritation, painful blistering, permanent scarring and blindness. Contact between the skin and the sap of this plant occurs either through brushing against the bristles on the stem or breaking the stem or leaves. For more information on how to identify and deal with this plant, please click here

VOBEC is a mayor-appointed commission whose purpose is to preserve and improve the quality of the natural and man-made environment within the Village in the face of population growth, urbanization, and technological change and their subsequent demands on natural resources. These areas of focus reflect this mission of maintaining and improving the quality of our life experience and our efforts to foster unified action on environmental problems.
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