Curt Johnson, Executive Director of Save The Sound, issues an Eco Reportcard on the water quality of Long Island Sound, and discusses what remains to be done, especially on Long Island
What happens when one community decides to adopt organic lawn care practices? How does it change the health of the local waters and of the marine creatures in them? That is the question Sayville is about to try and answer.
Girl Scout Troop #217 (Bayport - Blue Point) is challenging their community to go green, to move away from pesticides and high nitrogen fertilizers, and make The Organic Lawn Pledge
Donate For Earth Day to help Save The Great South Bay!
We absolutely need to start managing our drinking water on Long Island, or we will not have any drinking water in due time. Salt water intrusion has already begun to taint the aquifers because we pump far too much water out, half for our lawns. We've chosen our lawns over our children, above the needs of future generations! Toxic plumes of VOCs (Volatile Organic Chemicals) large and small, seep ever further and wider into the groundwater, imperiling the one source of water we have.
Each year, each grade at Sayville High School chooses a cause or a non-profit to support. This year, the Freshmen of Sayville High School chose "Save The Great South Bay" as their non-profit. It was Doug Shaw, who teaches English at The High School and was born and raised in Sayville, who reached out to me via our Facebook Group to relay the good news. He told me "the kids were looking to do something really local."
This December finds Long Island's environmentalists, those in The Nature Conservancy, The Citizen's Campaign for the Environment, The Group For the East End, The Pine Barrens Society, and the 100+ local organizations in The Long Island Clean Water Partnership in a state of wonder and exhaustion: Wonder because politicians and policy makers at all levels of government and across the political spectrum are standing together. They are all in agreement with the science that shows that Long Island is in a water quality / water pollution crisis and that something must be done immediately and on a large scale to address it.
This what happens on Long Island in the warm months every time it rains. And it gets worse by the year. Before 1984, we did not have algal blooms around Long Island. Headlong development has caught up with us. What led us to think that we could put 500,000 septic tanks / cesspools in the low lying sand of Long Island and not suffer some consequences? That said, we had no definitive scientific link between nitrogen from our septic tanks and the explosion of algal blooms now threatening almost all our waters until 2005.
As the bill in Albany died, a plan on Long Island was born. Now it is truly up to Governor Cuomo's 'task force' on Water Quality and Coastal Resiliency to hold the last of its four public meetings and offer its recommendations. Will Governor Cuomo have the vision and drive to move past the Albany nonsense to protect and restore the water sole source supply of drinking water for 3 million Long islanders, and the $5 billion dollar per year cash cow coastal economy of New York State? Will Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone step up and make the sweeping agency reforms recommended by the expert panel from IBM Smarter Cities Program? If so - then best of times indeed. Between IBM and the many dozens of experts in consultation now on water quality issues, we have the very best science in the world at hand to address our problems. We need to leverage this fact. "We have to."
The State Legislature is only in session for one more day up in Albany. There is only a day left to bring to the floor (and pass!) The Long Island Water Quality Control Act A.9788A/S.7804. The future of Long Island's bays, rivers and ponds depend on it. Our drinking water depends on it.
The bill establishes pollution standards for residents, businesses, and agriculture , standards we are going to need in place if we are to save our waters and build a sustainable Long Island.
There are of course certain constituencies who don't want to see this bill passed because it would force them to change how they do business -- what they can put on the ground, in the air, in the water, what they can build where, what new water quality regulations they'd need to follow.
But two things about building a sustainable Long Island :