(excerpt) "From the 1920s through the 1950s, we were the American duck business," said Doug Corwin, whose family owns Crescent Duck Farm in Aquebogue. Crescent is the last duck farm in Riverhead, where there once were dozens.
Through the 1950s, there were more than 70 duck farms on creeks and ponds throughout Brookhaven and the five East End towns. Today, according to Suffolk County officials, there are four duck farms left on Long Island. Still, the industry today is estimated to be worth approximately $18 million a year.
In the 1960s, county officials sought to close duck farms because of such environmental concerns as water pollution. Dozens were closed and the property was acquired by the county. Some of that land today is county parkland.
"I remember 30 or 40 duck farms when I was a kid," Corwin said. "On every creek in Riverhead. Through the late 1950s, Long Island produced about six million ducks. Today, with the few farms left, we still produce about 2.5 million ducks."
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