Ditch Plains
Montauk, Suffolk County, Long Island, NY

Montauk's Ditch Plains is located on the Montauk Peninsula, south of Lake Montauk.

It gets its name from the word "ditch," meaning an outlet. The outlet, once called "Choppauhshapaugausuck" by the Algonquin Indians, led south from Lake Montauk, which was formerly called Great Pond, to the ocean.

Formerly home to a U.S. Coast Guard facility, today the Ditch Plains beach is a popular spot for surfing and body boarding.

They have interesting bluffs here on which you can walk.

(Cynthia Blair, Newsday Names of Long Island; http://www.newsday.com/features/custom/names)


9/16/02 -- on a wet, rainy day Patrick and Rosemary Cooney, Judith Fitzgerald, and Lenore Swensen took a walk, starting from the entrance to the parking lot, along the narrow path through "moorland" or scrubland vegetation up to the tips of the bluffs of Ditch Plains. There is a wetland between the cliffs and the housing in the back of the area.

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney and Judith M. Fitzgerald
* = 9/16/02, date plant found in bloom

Pinus thunbergii (Japanese black pine)

Aronia sp. (chokeberry)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Myrica pensylvanica (bayberry)
Rhus copallina (winged sumac)
Rosa rugosa (wrinkled rose) * a few in bloom
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)

Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) * one in bloom
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster spp. (those damn little asters)*
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Cichorium intybus (chicory) *
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) *
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod) *
Euthamia tenuifolia (narrow-leaved goldenrod) *
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting) *
Helianthus sp. ( )? (tall sunflower) *
Hibiscus moscheutos (swamp rose mallow) *
Hypochaeris radicata (cat's ear) *
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper) *
Linaria vulgaris (butter-and-eggs) *
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose) *
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Solidago sempervirens (seaside goldenrod)
Trifolium pratense (red clover) *

Juncus tenuis (path rush)
Juncus sp. (rush)

Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Ammophila breviligulata (beach grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Eragrostis purple love grass)
Panicum virgatum (switch grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reedgrass)