Mattituck Inlet, Mattituck Creek, and the land surrounding it have been designated as
the Mattituck Inlet Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat by the NYDOS. The
perimeter of Mattituck Inlet is fringed with tidal marshes with both intertidal and high
marsh vegetation (Figure 2-18). These wetlands have high primary productivity and
support a variety of wildlife. There are also areas of deposited dredged material along the
shore. The most extensive wetland system is the state-owned Oregon Marsh Tidal
Wetlands, located behind the secondary dunes of Bailie's Beach. This system supports
juvenile marine finfish, clams, mussels, and osprey.
Figure 2-18. Mattituck Inlet perimeter, view looking south, 21 November 2003
Goldsmith Inlet History and Site Description
Much of the information presented in this section was taken from the Town of
Southold (2003) Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan and from Comes (1954).
Goldsmith Inlet is located in the Hamlet of Peconic in the Town of Southold, Suffolk
County, NY. Goldsmith Inlet in 1838, as depicted in 1838 NOS topographic sheet T-55,
is shown in Figure 2-19. Similar to Mattituck Inlet in a natural condition (Figure 2-4),
the entrance of Goldsmith Inlet is directed towards the east and has a winding sigmoidal
planform. Although it remains an area of historic, scenic, and environmental
significance, for much of its history it was a site of economic significance also, owing to
a gristmill that was located there. The inlet's first gristmill was constructed in 1760.
This tidal mill failed to work satisfactorily, was remade into a horse-driven mill, and then
fell into disuse as the local money crop changed from wheat and corn to flax around the
time of the American Revolution.
In 1841, at a cost of ,100, a group of 80 farmers bought shares to finance the
construction of a new tide-gristmill (Figure 2-20). The Peconic Mill was completed in
1843 and was successful for much of the remainder of the century. The mill stood on the
west bank of Goldsmith Inlet. Owing to the large, semidiurnal tide range (5.2 ft), the
Chapter 2 Study Area and Physical Setting