Send A Message to Albany on Suffolk County’s Proposed Water Quality Protection Fee Referendum: Let the People of Long Island Decide

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On Monday, Suffolk County announced what would be the most significant environmental action since collectively the passage of The Pine Barrens Protection Act over 2o years ago.   That piece of legislation, crafted over the course of an epic legal battle over six years, established a fund of $1 billion dollars that assured the preservation of 156 square miles of eastern Long Island in perpetuity.  This act protected our drinking water, blocked at the time 234 different development projects, and left pristine a wilderness for generations to come.

This new initiative, this new investment in Long Island’s future, is called The Water Quality Protection Fee.   Should our state legislators in Albany approve putting a referendum on the ballot for this November, this legislation would create a fund that would make onsite cesspool replacements and sewer hookups affordable, provide the resources to address the issues caused by over 200 local sewage treatment facilities in Suffolk, and help the county develop a strategy to revitalize all our bays, rivers, ponds, and streams, and with that assure the future of Suffolk County itself.   Clean water means we would see our shellfishing and fishing industries back.   It would mean that Long Island would remain a mecca for beach goers from around the world.  It would mean recovering the natural beauty of this special island.   We would also be protecting our drinking water for future generations.

The “ask” is this:   Save The Great South Bay is requesting all those who love this bay to contact your state legislators, both in the Senate and the Assembly.   Tell them that it is ‘we the people’ of Long Island who must be given the right to decide our fate, the fate of our waters.   The New York State Legislature must vote to allow this referendum, the Water Quality Protection Fee, to appear on the ballot here locally in Suffolk.   Those are the procedural rules.  The state must approve what we vote on here locally.   With that, call, email, whoever is representing you in Albany (contact info provided below).  Tell them to tell their colleagues that we on Long Island want the right to choose our fate, choose a future for this island.

We must be allowed to vote on this referendum.   It can make all the difference between rescuing our local environment, or seeing what is otherwise inevitable come to pass.  We have over 360,ooo cesspools and septic tanks in Suffolk.   If we don’t have the funds to deal with this immediately, we are done.   Everyone knows this.  All the environmental groups, certainly, and everyone on the local, state, and federal level.   We, as Long Islanders, see the evidence of this everywhere.   It’s taken hundreds of thousands of man hours over two years to get to this point.  And now is the time to enact this crucial piece of legislation — IF Albany agrees.   Tell them they must let us choose our future.   As I noted in a previous post, this is an investment rather than a cost.  We must think about those who follow us.

Here then is the contact information for your state legislators within the Long Island delegation, both in the Senate, and in the Assembly.  Call them, e-mail them.  Let them know future generations depend on whether this referendum comes to ballot.   We’ve all worked and fought so hard to get to this point.  It is up to them to give us the right to vote on this crucial referendum.

Below is listed the contact information for the entire Long Island delegation, the 12 Assemblymen and the 6 Senators.  Not sure who represents you?  Give it your best guess and phone.  If you are wrong, you will be directed to the proper person.   Good government requires an active citizenry.  The future is work a call, an email.

Assembly Members

Steve Englebright — District 4

Phil Ramos — District 6

Andrew R. Garbarino — District 7

Michael J. Fitzpatrick — District 8

Joseph S. Saladino — District 9

Kimberly Jean-Pierre — District 11

Andrew P. Raia — District 12

NYS Senate Members, Suffolk County

Contact Senator Kenneth P. LaValle’s Office

ALBANY OFFICELegislative Office Building, Room 806

Albany , NY 12247Phone:(518) 455-3121map

DISTRICT OFFICE

28 North Country RdSuite 203

Mount Sinai , NY 11766

Phone:(631) 473-1461
Fax: (631) 473-1513

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EMAIL ADDRESS:

Contact Senator John J. Flanagan’s Office

Contact Senator Thomas D. Croci’s Office

Contact Senator Phil Boyle’s Office

ALBANY OFFICE

814 Legislative Office Building

Albany , NY 12247

Phone:(518) 455-3411

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DISTRICT OFFICE

69 W Main Street Suite B

Bay Shore , NY 11706

Phone:(631) 665-2311

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Contact Senator Carl L Marcellino’s Office