New York Seagrant Weighs In On The Breach and The Crippling of The Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant — Both Caused By Hurricane Sandy

The Breach / New Inlet via Prof. Charles Flagg
The Breach / New Inlet via Prof. Charles Flagg

Seagrant ( a lot more on them below, from their site), offers an overview of the two most important topics affecting The Great South Bay and the Western Bays — The Breach / New Inlet, and The Crippling of The Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant By Hurricane Sandy.    Here is a national marine science non-profit with a strong local presence offering their views on both these issues as part of a Post Sandy assessment of marine conditions post Sandy and what our policy should be regarding them.     One’s a story of dirty water being flushed out (The Breach), the other a story of dirty water pouring in (The crippled Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant).   In both cases, it is crucial that as we rebuild we make wise, informed choices.   As the Breach / New Inlet is flushing the Eastern Great South Bay while revitalizing it and lowering the brown algae count to perhaps 1/100th of what we are seeing in Moriches and Shinnecock Bay, we need to keep The New Inlet open — or to put it another way, prevent it from being closed through political pressure.

In the case of The Bay Park Sewage Treatment plant, Pre-Sandy it was already antiquated, already responsible for dumping 85% of the nitrogenous waste into the Western Bays.   In this case, we must take immediate action, not only rebuilding the crippled plant, which still is dumping millions of gallons of ‘semi-treated’ sewage into the bay, which recently dumped another 3 million gallons of raw sewage, in addition to the the 68 million during Sandy, but modernizing it, with a new outfall pipe extending miles out into the sea so that these bays can at last begin to recover.   This is the approach championed by most marine biologists and environmentalists, and championed most recently by County Executive Ed Mangano.

Save the Great South Bay applauds that fact that some policy makers are listening to scientists actively studying the marine environment as they seek to rebuild from Sandy.   We can only hope that when the DEC sits down again to discuss The Breach / New Inlet and its fate, The Suffolk County Executive, Steven Bellone, is as ready to listen to scientists and now his constituents,as the public is now experiencing for themselves a bay with fish and clear waters.

Here I am reposting something that Chris Scott posted from Seagrant on The Save The Great South Bay Facebook Group Page:

 

“By acting as a bridge between decision-makers and researchers, New York Sea Grant was able to quickly provide sound information to #coastalmanagers, including the National Park Service (NPS), when they needed it most. NPS used NYSG information to evaluate the condition of the breach and its impacts, and decided not to close it immediately, which would have cost approximately $6 million. See NYSG’s impact statement for more (pdf) … http://tinyurl.com/kpft2doFor more on the topic, see the related “New York Sea Grant Responds to Superstorm Sandy” story, http://www.seagrant.sunysb.edu/articles/r/2255, as well as NYSG’s #Hurricane Education archives, www.nyseagrant.org/hurricaneAnd to learn more about the impacts of our #SeaGrant specialists and funded researchers in New York’s #GreatLakes and marine waters through the years, check out www.nyseagrant.org/successstories

 

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From Seagrant’s web site:

“Established in 1966, NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program promotes the wise stewardship of coastal resources in 33 joint Federal/State university programs in every U.S. coastal and Great Lakes state and Puerto Rico (click here for U.S. map with all Sea Grant locations). The Sea Grant model has also inspired similar projects in the Pacific region, Korea and Indonesia.

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), one of the largest of these programs, is a cooperative program of the State University of New York (SUNY) and Cornell University, with administrative offices at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, extension administration at Cornell University in Ithaca, and extension staff throughout the state.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education, and extension services promoting the coastal economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

The program includes administrative offices at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, extension administration in Ithaca and extension staff in Riverhead, Stony Brook, Kingston, Oswego and Buffalo.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups – businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.
Here is a map of New York State detailing New York Sea Grant’s staff locations. For a full staff directory, see www.nyseagrant.org/nysgstaff

 

 

 

This page describes their their statewide network more in depth:

New York needs Sea Grant. . . Our state, with 3,400 miles of widely varied coastline, is the only state in the nation bordering both the Great Lakes and the ocean. The Hudson, St. Lawrence and Niagara Rivers, Lakes Ontario, Erie and Champlain, Long Island Sound, inland bays, New York Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean provide the state with unique economic, environmental and social advantages. Today more than 85 percent of the State’s over 19 million people live in one of those coastal regions. New Yorkers depend on our coasts for ports and marinas, trade and recreation, and their contribution to economic and environmental sustainability.

New York Sea Grant is currently “making a difference” by supporting about 40 important research and outreach projects on issues such as shoreline protection, fisheries, aquatic invaders, and water quality. NYSG is assisting the Environmental Protection Agency Long Island Sound Study by managing their research program in collaboratiion with Connecticut Sea Grant.

We support high-quality, university-based, natural and social science research that takes an unbiased look at priority questions. It combines scientific rigor with a real-world stakeholder view. Our technical peer-review process is very thorough and provides the foundation for NYSG’s scientific credibility.

As a Federal/State matching funds program, NYSG is accountable to its Federal source of funding, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US Department of Commerce, as well as to the State of New York.

Our Track Record…Since its start in 1971, NYSG has provided over $132 million for university research, education, and outreach projects; sponsored conferences, seminars and workshops on vital coastal issues; and made it possible for over 700 graduate students to get advanced degrees.

 

Seagrant’s Many Initiatives in New York:

New York Sea Grant Extension has one of the largest and most respected extension programs in the Sea Grant network. Fifteen extension professionals are located in nine different offices in the downstate marine and upstate Great Lakes regions of New York. These specialists, whose Web sites are listed below, have expertise chosen to meet specific responsibilities assigned to them and take on statewide, regional, and in some cases national responsibilities.

Aquatic Invasive Species
(Includes links to Partner Sites: New York Invasive Species, National Aquatic Nuisance Species Clearinghouse, Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management, and New York Invasive Species Research Institute)

Brown Tide Research Initiative

Great Lakes …

 

 

Hard Clam Research Initiative

Hudson River Estuary

I FISH NY

Long Island Sound Lobster Research Initiative
Long Island Sound / Marine Education

Long Island Sound Study
(Partner Site)

Marine Coastal Processes & Facilities / Marinas

Marine Fishery Resource Center

Marina Environmental Best Management Practices
(Partner Site)

New York City

New York State Marine Education Association
(Partner Site)

Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO)

Seafood Safety & Technology

 

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  • Pat Kelling Griffith

    I hope they listen to this!!!