Building A Newsroom For Save The Great South Bay

Dennis Puleston — environmental advocate. A Long Islander by way of England, his work led to the banning of DDT and to the establishment of The Environmental Defense Fund

 

Save The Great South Bay is establishing a newsroom, a team of citizen-journalists and guest posters who will cover all the issues we wish to see aired.   In the coming weeks, expect posts covering the following topics:

  1.  Methoprene.   This larvicide is used for mosquito control.   But is there any collateral damage to other species, and if so what are the implications of that?   Kevin McAllister of Defend H2O, who has worked tirelessly for years to ban its use, will be posting on this.
  2. Land Use.   On a highly crowded Long Island, where there is precious little open space left, with roads and rails crowded and often in disrepair, and with poor air quality and rapidly degrading water quality, how do we build a Long Island that we’d want to live in?  From Heartland to The Ronkonkoma Hub to Villadome to The Hills, large scale development projects are being proposed or are in construction throughout Long Island, and local civic groups are rising up in response.  Richard Murdocco of The Foggiest Idea will speak to the issue of land use and development on Long Island.   How do we build for a sustainable future on this crowded island?
  3. Glyphosate.   Currently, The Army Corps of Engineers are applying glyphosate or Round Up, to many acres of Fire Island in an attempt kill off vegetation and create piping plover habitat.   They stated that their $207 million ‘beach renourishment’ efforts were so effective, they had the unintended consequence of preventing overwashes, which naturally creates more habitat for the plovers (and a number of other marine creatures) so that now they needed to poison off the vegetation.   An Anonymous poster will address this issue.
  4. The Bethpage Plume.   For decades, the Grumman plant in Bethpage buried their toxic waste.   The resulting plume, now four miles long by two miles wide by 700 ft deep after some thirty years of inaction, is creeping its way south towards the Great South Bay.   The State of New York, in litigation against the Navy, is already committed to spending $150 mil to build a series of wells just north of The Southern State Parkway that over 20 years would pump out 750 billion gallons of water over the next twenty years, where the carcinogens in the groundwater would be stripped out.   Now radium is being detected, along with radon gas, within the area of the plume.   The Navy is claiming its naturally occurring.   Should we be taking this claim at face value? Another poster, also Anonymous, will address this issue.

There are a host of other issues we will be addressing in the coming months — banning mylar balloons, creating green marinas, sewering versus onsite systems, the prospects for shellfish restoration, etc.

We are establishing this newsroom because we have come to the realization that we have to self-publish so that the issues that matter to The South Shore and the Great South Bay can receive a proper public airing.   Newsday is now owned by a French telecom.   The New York Times does not do local news.   While we applaud local papers like The Long Island Advance and The Fire Island News for their dedicated coverage, we have right now as an organization larger reach than they do.   That said, we welcome ‘cross-posting’ from them and other local publications.

Facebook has helped grow our organization to the size it is now.   However, it is a poor platform for any extended discussion of any given issue.   Discussion threads rapidly disappear in one’s feed, to be replaced by the next post or comment.   There is no continuity, only reaction.   That may be good for their business model, but not when you are trying to advance an argument.   That said, our strategy as an organization at this point is to relegate Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc to distribution / syndication channels for content generated from our website.   This way, we can control the message, and build out discussions that will be regular resources for our membership and for the public at large.

We very much welcome guest posting.  If there’s a topic you’d like to write on, please contact us at [email protected].   If your proposed post is approved, we stand ready to help in the drafting.   If you are unfamiliar with WordPress, we will help.   All posts are subject to vetting by our editorial team.

Together, we can speak truth to power and voice the issues we care about as we fight to heal our bay and to build a truly sustainable Long Island.

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