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Long Island Information
By Beachcomber, retrieved from Wikipedia
Nov 3, 2003, 19:14

Long Island, part of New York State, is an island off the North American coast, some 118 miles (190 km) long, and from 12 to 20 miles wide, extending from New York Harbor into the North Atlantic Ocean. To the north of the island is Long Island Sound, which separates it from the coast of Connecticut and Rhode Island. To the south are the Great South Bay, South Oyster Bay, and Jamaica Bay, then a number of small barrier islands (most notably Fire Island), and the Atlantic Ocean. The island separates into two forks at the eastern end, known as the North Fork and South Fork.

On the western part of Long Island are the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens; east of them are Nassau and Suffolk counties. New Yorkers reserve the term Long Island or the island for Nassau and Suffolk counties only. Some also consider Queens to be part of "Long Island".

Geologically, the island is formed of two spines of glacial moraine, consisting largely of gravel and loose rock over deeply-buried bedrock, formed during the two most recent pulses of the Wisconsinan glaciation, with a sandier outwash plain beyond. Technically speaking, the island is actually a peninsula separated from the mainland by the East River, a tidal estuary of the Hudson River. The eastern end of the island is still partly agricultural, now including many vineyards as well as traditional truck farming. Fishing also continues to be an important industry.

Since World War II, however, Long Island has become increasingly suburban and, in some areas, fully urbanized. Levittown was only the first of many new suburbs, and businesses followed residential development eastward. The South Fork contains the area known as the Hamptons, which also experienced a population boom after World War II. The Long Island Rail Road, Long Island Expressway, and Northern and Southern State Parkways make east-west travel on the island straightforward, if not always quick.

Long Island is home to numerous colleges, including Stony Brook University, Southampton College, Hofstra University, and SUNY-Old Westbury. It is also home to the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League.

In the 2000 census, the population of Suffolk, the easternmost county on the island, was over a million; the total population of Long Island, including Brooklyn and Queens, was more than 8 million.

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