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LI Shore Real-Time Environmental Data Systems

LI Shore Logo with title stretching across outline of Long Island

What Is LI Shore?

Tom Wilson stands next to the LI Shore Bay Park stationLIShore (pronounced “Ell Eye Shore”) is a Coastal Observing System operated by the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) of Stony Brook University.  Founded in 1998, LIShore has expanded from an initial focus on Shinnecock Inlet and Shinnecock Bay to monitor sea and shoreline conditions at locations around Long Island, New York.  LIShore provides free real-time and archived information through a website at

LIShore provides “one stop” access to sea and shoreline conditions including weather, tide/surge, water temperature, salinity, waves, currents, and shoreline cameras. Information includes real time data from instruments currently deployed at eleven locations and a historical archive from nineteen locations comprising 2.3GB of data and over 1.3 million time-lapse images.  Some instruments are native to LIShore; other data is mirrored from cooperating partners and public data sources.

Who Uses LI Shore?

LIShore attracts a variety of users Researchers in the federal and university sectors use data for research on water quality, beach/inlet dynamics, and coastal flood modeling. State and local governments use data for emergency preparedness and shoreline management.  The Coast Guard monitors sea conditions to maintain appropriate levels of operational readiness and train personnel.

But LIShore is not just a system for scientists and government agencies over 75% of LIShore access is by the general public (non-government and non-educational Internet addresses). Operators of commercial vessels and recreational boaters use LIShore to check sea and inlet conditions. Other frequent visitors include owners of waterfront property and seasonal residents who “check in” on their favorite shore spots from around the country and even from overseas. Beach patrons use LIShore to check conditions for sunbathing, fishing, surfing, and swimming.

Panoramic Image of Point Lookout at Jones Beach

Why Request Public Support?

This data station, developed at the SoMAS Instrument Laboratory, uses 4G Internet technology to connect field sensors to laboratory servers, cutting the cost and complexity of the gear that must be deployed in the harsh marine environment.Government funding waxes and wanes over time. A valuable observatory location established with public funds at great expense can be forced to shut down when a research project ends, even if the expense of operating the station is only 5 to 10% of the original investment per year.  For more about this dilemma, check out this TEDx talk by LIShore founder Tom Wilson.

Your tax-deductible donation can keep stations operating through gaps in government support, helping to serve science, emergency preparedness, and the general public.

Ways To Give

To donate online using Visa, Mastercard, or American Express please go to this secure encrypted website.

To donate by check or money order payable to Stony Brook University/SBF with the notation LIShore SBF account 264290, mail to:

Assistant Dean
School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5000

However you make your donation, please let the LIShore webmaster (email: know about the donation so you can (optionally) be recognized on our stakeholders page, also if you have any special request such as support for a particular LIShore site.

Thank you for your interest and support!