#96-69

ISSUED 9/11/96

MEDIA ADVISORY:

BNL TO HOST PINE BARRENS RESEARCH FORUM, OCTOBER 4

EVENT: A Pine Barrens Research Forum, featuring the latest research results on groundwater quality, post-wildfire recovery and rare species in the Long Island pine barrens. Prominent local scientists, educators and others are expected to attend. Summaries of the effects of the wildfires and drought of 1995 will be among the topics discussed.

WHEN: Friday, October 4, 1996, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Berkner Hall, Brookhaven National Laboratory. The Laboratory is located on William Floyd Parkway, 1.5 miles north of LIE Exit 68.

DETAILS: At the forum, environmental scientists from all over the region will exchange the latest ecological and geological findings on the Long Island pine barrens, and discuss current research.

Long Island's 100,000 acres of pine barrens acts as a filter to purify groundwater, which is the only source of drinking water for both Suffolk and Nassau counties. The exact groundwater flow pattern of the area as well as the forest's recovery from the wildfires of August 1995 are of particular scientific interest.

The forum is a cooperative effort of Suffolk County's Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission, the Long Island Groundwater Institute at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Brookhaven Lab.

The pine barrens constitute a unique forest ecosystem, found only on Long Island, in southern New Jersey and in few other places. It features sandy soil, pitch pine and scrub oak trees, and diverse animal and plant undergrowth species. The pine barrens withstand periodic burning by wildfires, which can release pitch pine seeds without damaging the parent trees. Brookhaven Lab's 5,300-acre site, which is largely undeveloped, constitutes about five percent of the Long Island pine barrens.