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Carmans River L.I., N.Y.
|Main source||Cathedral Pines County Park near Middle Island, New York
Approx. 249 ft (76 m)
|River mouth||Bellport Bay at Shirley, New York
0 ft (0 m)
|Basin size||71 sq mi (184 km2)|
|Length||10 mi (16 km)|
It is one of the four largest rivers on Long Island and is similar to other Long Island rivers in that is totally groundwater generated (e.g., no lakes), although a lake did exist long ago. Almost all of the river is specifically protected by the Central Long Island Pine Barrens. All of it is designated by New York State as either a "Scenic River" or a "Recreational River."
The river, which was earlier once called the Connecticut River (in connection with early settlers from Connecticut, and also due to the mistaken belief that it is fed underground by that river) is named for Samuel Carman who married into milling families on the river in the 19th century, used it to run a mill, and operated a hunting club for residents from New York City.
It is fresh water for the first eight miles (13 km) and then becomes an estuary for the last two, as it encounters the tidal effects of Great South Bay.
Adjoining the river is the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge.
The river formed the western boundary of the massive Manor of St. George under William "Tangier" Smith who in the 17th century owned most of modern day Brookhaven south of the Sunrise Highway. A manor subsequently built by the Smith family is located in Shirley at the mouth.
In 1967 Art Cooley, Bellport, New York school teacher, noting a decline in the osprey population on the river was one of the founders of the Environmental Defense Fund which was to lead the fight to ban DDT.
Southaven County Park encompasses upstream parts of the river and special regulations trout fishing can be accessed through them. In recent years, wild turkeys have been re-introduced into this park, and have re-populated many of the surrounding areas.
List of crossings of the Carmans River
- Cathedral Pines County Park entrance
- East Bartlett Road
- Mill Road (also known as Coram−Yaphank Road)
- County Route 21 (Suffolk County, New York); Yaphank Avenue
- Interstate 495 (New York); Long Island Expressway
- Main Line (Long Island Rail Road)
- County Route 56 (Suffolk County, New York); Victory Boulevard
- New York State Route 27; Sunrise Highway
- County Route 80 (Suffolk County, New York); Montauk Highway
- Montauk Branch of the Long Island Rail Road
- Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge access road
- Pfeiffer's Pond; Source of the Carmans River (Longwood's Journey) Archived April 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- NYSwaterfronts.com profile of river
- brookhavensouthhaven.org profile of river
- Carmnet profile of river