Tag: Christopher Gobler

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Can Long Island Be Saved? Part VI – An Interview With Professor Christopher Gobler

Chris and his team helped link septic tank seepage to the nitrogen fueled algal blooms around Long Island. Today, we know that we need to deal with the 500,000 septic tanks on Long Island if we are to save our bays, rivers, ponds, and marshes, and preserve our drinking water. Today, as various scientific experts and public officials grapple, along with our environmental non profits and the public with the question of how we address our water quality issues, Gobler's work is essential in charting the right path.

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An Open Letter to Steven Bellone: Thank You For Highlighting How Long Island is Under Threat From Ground Water Polluted by Septic Tanks

We of Save The Great South Bay applaud your leadership in helping to shine a light on the major issue threatening all of Long Island's bays, rivers, ponds, its very drinking water, and with that our way of life. With the release of The Comprehensive Water Resources Management Plan, the public at large, the 1.5 million people who live in Suffolk County and the 1.35 million in Nassau County, can begin to understand the collective threat we face from nitrogenous waste in our groundwater.

The public release of the report was truly a watershed moment. It was also a call to action. The now over 1100 members of Save The Great South Bay are ready to do their part to raise awareness about the threats our waters face, and to seek, in partnership with local officials and other environmental non-profits, solutions that would help preserve Long Island as a desirable place to live for our children and grandchildren.

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A Breach of Protocol? Outdated Science Supporting Bureaucratic Decision Making on The Breach

Many of us (about 35 based on RSVPs, seeing people there) attended "Sandy's Silver Lining," A Public Forum on The Breach, held at Bellport Middle School on the 21st between 9:30 - 12:00. The response was strong even though it was the last shopping weekend before Christmas; this issue is still front and center for us, and so about 200 showed in total. Thomas Bruckner should be singled out as having done a marvelous job assembling the panel, and in the presentation, with informative segues between speakers where he showed pics and video from his some 30 trips to the breach / inlet. He's a natural MC. The sound system was out of whack, but we will get this fixed for next time, for yes, there will be next times, as what Commissioner Soller had to say make clear.

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TOXIC BLUE GREEN ALGAL BLOOMS EXPAND TO NORTH SHORE, NORTH FORK

September 30th 2013 – Last week, two freshwater bodies on Long Island were added to NYSDEC comprehensive inventory of state water bodies with blue green algal blooms: Deep Pond in Wading River and Maratooka Lake in Mattituck. Blue algae are of concern as they can synthesize toxins that can sicken humans and can be lethal to pets and other animals. Following World Health Organization standards, Maratooka Lake had levels of the toxin, microcystin, exceeding a moderate recreational risk, prompting NYSDEC to list the lake as ‘CONFIRMED WITH HIGH TOXINS’ and prompting Suffolk County Department of Health Services to post signs warning the public around the lake. These two water bodies join Mill Pond and Lake Agawam which have been on the NYSDEC list weekly since June.

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9-10-13: The Long Island Clean Water Partnership Launch Covered by the Wall Street Journal

Long Island environmental groups are banding together to stem the flow of nitrogen into the region’s groundwater and bays.

The initiative announced Tuesday follows what environmentalists are calling the worst year on record for ecological problems related to nitrogen, a nutrient that feeds algal blooms blamed for devastating much of the island’s marine life over the last three decades.

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Via SCERP: HIGH LEVELS OF NITROGEN PROMOTE RUST TIDES ON LONG ISLAND

August 27th 2013 – Last week, Rust tides caused by the dinoflagellate, Cochlodinium, emerged on eastern Long Island and have since spread east through the Peconic Estuary and Shinnecock Bay. A recent study performed more than two dozen experiments over a four year period in five different Long Island estuaries and found that the loading of nitrogen during significantly increased the growth of Cochlodinium relative to other phytoplankton groups, demonstrating that nitrogen promotes rust tides (1; see figure). In south shore bays, the primary source of nitrogen is septic tanks (2). Recent investigations of the Peconic Estuary found that septic tanks, cesspools, and fertilizers were all important nitrogen sources (3).

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The Long Island Clean Water Partnership Announced / What You Can Do

As New York continues to recover from Sandy and rebuilds, we are now also faced with a Long Island that is rapidly becoming unlivable due to nitrogenous waste in the ground water, the 117 pesticides in our drinking water, and the pharmaceuticals we throw away or flush down the toilet. The nitrogenous waste is from septic tanks and from lawn fertilizers, from the over 195 small sewage treatment plants scattered across the island, and from antiquated or crippled sewage treatment plants like the one in Bay Park, damaged severely by Sandy.

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In Praise of The Stony Brook Southampton Coastal and Estuarine Research Program (SCERP) — “Like” Them on Facebook If You Care About The Fate of The Great South Bay and Every Bay

Knowing now the task at hand, we have no choice but to take it on. To say this problem is too big is to say Long Island has no future. Without clean water, we have no bays, rivers, and ponds worth having. Without clean water, what do we drink, bathe in, or wash with? In the end, it is up to us to act responsibly on the conclusions of SCERP's research. The very first step we can take in that is to make sure everyone on Long Island is familiar with their work and their conclusions. Tell your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers. We must move from knowledge to awareness to action if we are to preserve Long Island and its waters for future generations. Make no mistake - this problem will cost billions to fix. Eco friendly septic tanks and toilets would need to be deployed throughout Nassau and Suffolk. Sewage treatment plants would need to be modernized and rebuilt. With the total value of Long Island real estate easily in the hundreds of billions of dollars, one would think the infrastructure investment would be worth it.

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The Breach Report July 11th — New Inlet Holding Off The Brown Tide, at Least In The Eastern Part of The Great South Bay (via SCERP)

The brown tide bloom in The Great South Bay is massive and its results will be devastating. The New Inlet will mitigate the damage somewhat -- we should be happy it wasn't closed after Sandy! -- but the real problem continues to be the 500,000 septic tanks in Nassau and Suffolk. Scientists are now speculating that the Babylon area was hit hard by this brown tide because the flow of polluted groundwater running into the bay was greatest there. While some of Babylon is on sewers, much of Babylon isn't. After an historically wet June -- we had twice the rain we usually did -- the ground water, now supersaturated, flowed towards the bay, drawing septic tank water with it. Babylon's rivers and streams contribute 30% of the ground water pollution into the bay, as measured by nitrogen content, as it is. A month of flooding rains, predictably, exacerbated the problem.

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The Breach Report July 8th, 2013 – Damaging Brown Tide Spreads Across Great South Bay, Cell Count Much Lower Near New Inlet – A Report From SCERP

DAMAGING BROWN TIDE SPREADS ACROSS GREAT SOUTH BAY
June rains kick starts event; Presence of The New Inlet keeps levels lower in Eastern Bay

Stony Brook, NY, July 8th 2013 – An intense and damaging brown tide has emerged across much of Great South Bay. Monitoring by The Gobler Laboratory of Stony Brook University has revealed that a brown tide developed in late June in western Great South Bay and has intensified and spread east since. Abundances of the brown tide organism were recorded at more than 1,000,000 cells per milliliter in western Great South Bay as of July 2nd in the region between the Robert Moses Bridge and Islip. Densities declined to less than 100,000 cells per milliliter within eastern Great South Bay. Densities above 100,000 cells per milliliter can be harmful to marine life. This marks the first summer brown tide in Great South Bay since 2008.

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