On Tuesday, News12 aired the second of its five part series, What’s In The Water? with a discussion of pesticides in Long Island’s groundwater. I encourage all to watch the series, with an additional one hour panel discussion at 7 PM Thursday night.
As per the segment, there are now over 100 pesticides found in our water, many of which were long since banned, but still traceable since they take time to decay. To go further, decayed pesticides often break down into compounds that are still harmful. Pat Dolan, President of News12 news interviewed a potato farmer out on The North Fork who balked at the notion of not using pesticides. The farmers fear that they will make less money without pesticides because they would have smaller crops. They’d favor any solution that didn’t effect them economically.
One pesticide that the potato farmers, lawn care specialists, and green houses use is Imidicloprid. Potato farmers like it because it kills the potato beetle. But it also causes reproductive problems in lab animals, according to the report, and is toxic to bees, birds and fish as well. There are those, especially the 40,000 on private wells, who believe the pesticide contamination is carcinogenic, partially responsible for our high local cancer rates. It would be instructive to have maps of cancer rates on Long Island for various types of cancer, and map that against superfund clean up sites, toxic plumes, and in this case runoff from farms. I think we’d see some maps line up.
Note then to Long Island farmers: Please consider going completely organic. The profit margins are great, local shoppers would support your efforts, and you wouldn’t be poisoning the water, soil and air for generations to come. I’d be curious to know more about large scale organic farming and how pest control is handled there. I don’t know what pesticides are used to grow wine on Long Island’s North Fork, but maybe it’s a more eco-friendly crop to be growing and a more lucrative one. One would hope so.
They deserve it for all the important reporting they are doing about Long Island’s water quality. Tomorrow’s feature is Burden on the Bays, about which Save The Great South Bay has a particular interest.
- STGSB Podcast Episode 5: Methoprene & Emerging Contaminants - December 17, 2019
- STGSB Podcast Episode 4: Native Planting with Matt Gettinger - December 17, 2019
- STGSB Podcast Episode 3: Shellfish and the Revitalization of the Great South Bay - December 16, 2019
- STGSB Podcast Episode 2: The Challenges of Sustainable Development - December 6, 2019
- The Mayor’s Cup Charity Regatta and Clambake — Celebrating Our Heritage on The Great South Bay - September 27, 2019
- Clam Bake And Party For Save the Great South Bay - August 30, 2019
- Official SGSB Letter To The NYS Parks Department Re: West Brook With Bonus Drone Footage - July 21, 2019
- Repel The Invaders And Help Save The Great South Bay - June 20, 2019
- Coffee With The Supervisor: Native Plantings, Methoprene - June 18, 2019
- The 5K Run For The Bay: Pursuing Change - May 23, 2019