The word is out. What so many of us love most about Long Island, from its recreational opportunities such as biking, fishing, kayaking and more, to its easy access to shopping and services, continues to attract people to the Island, making development unavoidable. No surprises there. There is a big difference however between overdevelopment and sustainable development. The latter being, in fact, an opportunity to restore local habitat that has been destroyed over the past century.

As an organization, Save The Great South Bay challenges Long Island developers to think outside the standard nursery offerings. We implore them to incorporate, may we dare say embrace, the three pillars of sustainable development:

  • Choosing native plants that attract local pollinators
  • Incorporating on-site stormwater management, such as rain gardens and bioswales
  • Making use of eco-friendly maintenance techniques by eliminating chemical-laden fertilizers or pesticides.

We call on developers to do their part to restore nature, in turn supporting our local economies, as they continue to grow and prosper. Homeowners are doing it, local libraries are doing it – it’s not hard. The best part is, it doesn’t necessarily take more funds, just willingness. Willingness to replace the usual choices with something that serves both an aesthetic and an environmental purpose. Save The Great South Bay Board President, Todd J. Shaw, is fond of saying – once you know something, you can’t unknow it. That’s habitat restoration in a nutshell. That’s habitat restoration in a nutshell. Make choices that have double the investment value – at once both pleasing to the eye and environmentally sound.

It is truly encouraging to see local developers are starting to pick up on our message of sustainable land use, going so far as to revise plans based on the community input that what we want to welcome into our neighborhoods are not just new neighbors but also Monarch butterflies and other pollinators, birds, and a variety of wildlife that were here long before we were. The health of the Great South Bay depends on it. The health of Long Island depends on it.

We applaud the efforts of Terwilliger and Bartone, a Long Island-based developer, for choosing to lead the way in sustainable development in their upcoming projects. We invite other developers, commercial landowners and homeowners to learn more at our upcoming webinar on Saturday, January 16th at 10:00 am entitled Bay Friendly Yards: The Three Essential Elements via Zoom. Search Bay Friendly Yards on Eventbrite or register now at this link:

To the Bay!

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