04/30/17 8:34am
04/30/2017 8:34 AM

When Orient resident Priscilla Bull sits at her kitchen table, she is able to admire her ancestors’ engravings etched into her windows dating back to 1850 — the year the home was built.

One reads “M. W. Terry.” The home’s original owner, Marcus Terry, was Orient Point’s postmaster until 1913 and his Main Road home once served as a post office.

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09/18/14 7:27am
09/18/2014 7:27 AM
The scene of a crash at the end of Route 25 on Thursday morning. (Credit: Paul Squire)

The scene of a crash at the end of Route 25 on Thursday morning. (Credit: Paul Squire)

A 30-year-old mother was killed after driving off a private road in Orient and crashing just after midnight Thursday, Southold Town police said.

The woman’s 18-month-old daughter was in the car and survived unharmed, according to a police news release. (more…)

10/10/13 5:00pm
10/10/2013 5:00 PM
MERRY RETUS COURTESY PHOTO | Riverhead Foundation scientists are researching what caused the death of a Loggerhead sea turtle that washed up in Orient Point on Tuesday.

MERRY RETUS COURTESY PHOTO | Riverhead Foundation scientists are researching what caused the death of a Loggerhead sea turtle that washed up in Orient Point on Tuesday.

Orient Point resident Merry Retus made a somber discovery Tuesday after noticing a turtle floating in Long Island Sound waters behind her home.

“It was very choppy out so I couldn’t tell if it was alive or not. I was just kind of keeping an eye on it,” she said.

A short time later, the turtle had made it to the shore off Sound View Road.

Ms. Retus said she called volunteers at the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation to report the distressed turtle. Upon arrival marine officials found Loggerhead turtle, weighing more than 300 pounds, dead on the shore.

“It was the biggest they had ever seen,” she said.

“It was quite an ordeal getting him off the beach as there was no way to get a vehicle on the beach,” she said.

Ms. Retus said the turtle was about a half-mile from the nearest access.

With foundation members unable to move the turtle, Ms. Retus started calling anyone she could think of to try and help the researchers get the turtle back to the foundation.

“I called the town, the highway department, public works, the police and the bay constable, but everybody said the same thing,” she said. “They were unable to help.”

By Wednesday, volunteers from Douglass Marine Towing offered to tow the turtle from the beach so the foundation could research its cause of death, she said.

“He didn’t appear to have any injures from a boat or anything. I like to think it was old age,” Ms. Retus said. “Hopefully we can learn something from him.”

Coming across a distressed turtle is not that uncommon, Foundation officials have said in the past.

Because sea turtles are cold-blooded reptiles, they depend on external sources of heat to stay warm. During the impending cold temperatures, they must migrate to warmer waters.

When turtles are unable to travel south, they can become what’s called “cold-stunned” or hypothermic, according to marine researchers.

According to the foundation, the 2012-2013 winter season brought and “unprecedented number” of turtles to the Northeast, with more than 100 turtles needing rehabilitation from Virginia to Maine.

During that season the foundation responded to 37 cold-stunned turtles, 6 had died while being cared for by the foundation, 13 had died on arrival to the foundation, and 2 were found dead on the beach, according to a foundation spokeswoman.

Researchers are hosting a new “Save the Seat Turtles” campaign to educate residents on what to do should they come across a distressed turtle.

They will be holding educational classes at a number of locations throughout Long Island, including the Long island Aquarium in Riverhead. For more information and a schedule of classes visit the foundation website.

Researchers with the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation were not immediately available for comment.

07/09/13 1:33pm
07/09/2013 1:33 PM

COURTESY DEC | The sea turtle rescued rescued off Orient Point.

A 5-foot-long leatherback sea turtle – the world’s largest living turtle and an endangered species – was rescued off Orient Point Saturday, state Department of Environmental Conservation officials said.

DEC officers on a routine patrol discovered the sea turtle trapped about two miles off of Orient Point in the “fast moving waters” of Plum Gut, according to a release. The turtle had become ensnared in the ropes of a lobster buoy, which were tangled around the animal’s lower torso, according to DEC officials.

The DEC officers were able to cut away buoy ropes, freeing the large turtle.

“Saving such a large animal required a great deal of skill and the officers involved in this rescue should be commended for using their knowledge and boatmanship to rescue this magnificent animal.” said DEC commissioner Joe Martens.

It is estimated that only 115,000 adult female leatherback sea turtles still exist, making them an endangered species at both state and federal levels according to the DEC.

The leatherback can grow up to 6-feet in length and weigh up to 1,300 pounds, earning its name for its leathery skin.

In the Atlantic, leatherback sea turtles are found regularly off the coast of New England, especially Massachusetts and the Gulf of Maine, and in Long Island waters, according to the release.

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09/22/12 11:55am
09/22/2012 11:55 AM

TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | A Cross Sound Ferry vessel passes by the Orient Point Lighthouse on it’s way to Connecticut.

The Orient Point Lighthouse, also known as the “coffeepot” light, just off the tip of the North Fork in Plum Gut, is a fixed aid to navigation, but the the federal government’s deadline for would-be buyers to submit purchase bids keeps shifting like the tide.

The federal General Services Administration began the auction last summer and initially planned to sell the lighthouse to the highest bidder within two months. But last week, the GS announced on its property auction website, http://realestatesales.gov, that the auction would end Sept. 17.

The closing date was since been moved to Sept. 20 and then extended to just before noon today, Saturday. The GSA indicates that another extension is possible. Nine bids have been submitted to date, with the highest at $100,000. The East End Seaport Museum was initially interested in seeking ownership but determined it did not have the required financial resources.

Whoever purchases the structure must allow the U.S. Coast Guard access to maintain the light.

The lighthouse is made of cast iron and is partially filled with concrete. It stands 45 feet tall with three stories of living quarters and two watch decks, according to the GSA.