Long Island is about to replace its cesspools and septic tanks. Nassau County has 140,000, Suffolk 360,000. Suffolk intends to launch a pilot program that will deploy 400 units over the next two years. Albany is chipping in with $2 billion to address the issue at scale. Yet more will be needed, but everyone, seeing the problem, is stepping up. At the same time that we do this, we need to stop polluting our waters with lawn fertilizer and pesticides.
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
DID YOU KNOW THAT THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF CESSPOOLS AND SEPTIC TANKS ARE SEEPING NITROGREN INTO OUR GREAT SOUTH BAY…?
THAT NITROGEN HAS ALL BUT WIPED OUT OUR SHELLFISHING INDUSTRY BY TRIGGERING MASSIVE ALGAL BLOOMS.
IF WE CAN REPLACE THE CESSPOOLS CLOSE TO THE BAY WITH SEWERS, WE CAN GET THE WATER CLEAN ENOUGH TO BRING BACK CLAMMING AND OYSTERING, AND REVIVE A $500 MILLION INDUSTRY.
GIVE THE CLAMS AND OYSTERS A CHANCE, AND, AS FILTER FEEDERS, THEY WILL HELP TO CLEAN THE WATER WHILE BRINGING PROSPERITY TO THE SOUTH SHORE, AND RESTORING A WAY OF LIFE.
$383 MILLION DOLLARS HAS ALREADY BEEN ALLOCATED TO SEWER ALONG FOUR MAJOR RIVERS EMPTYING INTO THE GREAT SOUTH BAY.
WE SAY ‘LET’S PUT THAT MONEY TO WORK SO THAT WE AND THE SHELLFISH CAN GET TO WORK.’
THE RONKONKOMA HUB, A LARGE SCALE PROJECT JUST NOW BREAKING GROUND, NEEDS A ROUTE TO THE BERGEN SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT.
WE ARE PETITIONING THE COUNTY TO ‘ROUTE IT SOUTH’ THROUGH SAYVILLE, WEST SAYVILLE, AND OAKDALE, SO THAT WE CAN REPLACE THE LOW LYING CESSPOOLS CLOSE TO THE SHORE. YES, IT WILL COST MORE THAN WHAT WAS INITIALLY PLANNED, AROUND $24 MILLION MORE. BUT LET’S LOOK AT THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT.
WE COULD OPEN UP THOUSANDS OF ACRES TO SHELLFISHING AGAIN, AND WITH EVERY ACRE OF OYSTERS GENERATING UP TO $100,000 A YEAR IN REVENUES, EVERYONE WINS, ESPECIALLY THE BAY.
WE URGE YOU THEN: SIGN THE PETITION.
VOTE YES ON THIS PLAN TO CLEAN OUR WATERS. VOTE YES ON THIS ECONOMIC INVESTMENT. YOUR LOCAL OFFICIALS NEED TO HEAR YOUR VOICE, AND THIS PLAN NEEDS A FAIR HEARING.
It is imperative that the Long Island delegation in Albany represents our interests and works to get the Water Quality Protection Fee Referendum on the ballot this November so that the people of Long Island can vote for their future. We deserve the right to represent our interests.
Donate For Earth Day to help Save The Great South Bay!
The on-site system I saw installed by Tom Montalbine of Roman Stone Construction Company in Bayshore stated that in volume the Norweco Singulair could reach $12000 per, and that is with all the manufacture being done on Long Island. We are as a county on a mission to bring the very best in waste water treatment technology to Stony Brook's Clean Business Incubator Program and to the world.
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.
What makes Georgica Pond so interesting is the possibility that motivated residents, top scientists and attentive local officials could be at the forefront of reversing the symptoms of the nutrient pollution that has become an island-wide, and arguably a world-wide, problem.
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.