2019 was a banner year for Save the Great South Bay. All that we had planned for 2020 is gone, so what do we do as an org, as neighbors, and citizens? What will emerge from all these profound changes? Let's be "yardbound" and have an invasive and non-native free "Bay Friendly Yard" for you and your family.
Marshall Brown of Sayville grew up within a block of The Great South Bay. He's come home, and his mission is to save it.
Enrico Nardone of Seatuck will present on the diadromous and anadromous fish of Long Island, and how they are an essential part of the the food chain for seals, whales, river otters, gulls, bluefish, stripers, and other larger predators. Alewives, herring, and eels are migratory fish that live part time in fresh water, part time in salt water. For them and the ecosystem to thrive, we need to restore our streams, creeks and rivers, so that these fish can pass freely up and down stream once more. This would involve fish ladders and even dam removal.
Step up on The Soap Box -- have your 90 second video say about what water issue on Long Island most frustrates you, or is under reported. Speak to those who wouldn't ordinarily hear you.
The video here is from last year's Action Forum, where I offer an update from 2013. Membership in the Save The Great South Bay Facebook Group had tripled to over 1700. A consortium called The Long Island Clean Water Partnership had formed, comprised of over 100 organizations. Somehow, people on the local, state and federal level got on the same page, prodded by the science. Similarly, local reporting on Long Island's environmental issues, especially around water quality, really came around. Increasingly, Long Islanders are becoming aware of the challenges our waters face.
More recent data indicates that the rate of nitrogen infiltration into our drinking water has accelerated since 2005. At the same time, algal blooms have been increasing in intensity and variety and geographic distribution over the same period. The nitrogen seeping into our groundwater from septic tanks and fertilizers -- 500,000 septic tanks and from perhaps as many lawns, as well as farms has been driving these highly destructive blooms.
Beyond that, our waters show increased amounts of pesticides (117 have been detected in our ground water), pharmaceuticals (because we have a bad habit of flushing them down the toilet instead of properly disposing them) and volatile chemicals, both via industrial pollution and the improper disposal of household paints, solvents, glues and other hazardous waste.
We knew that if The Great South Bay was to be saved, it was going to have to be through bringing science to the problem. The people of The South Shore of Long Island needed to understand what the issues with the bay were, what was causing them, and what solutions were possible.
A couple of calls pointed me in Carl's direction, and soon he was sharing his knowledge and passion with the group, and helping us to understand what it would take to achieve our mission - to bring back the shellfish, the fish, the eelgrass, the marshes, the habitats that decades of neglect and decay had all but removed.
The Great South Bay must be preserved for future generations.
Brad Geoghan took some pictures yesterday of Bellport Bay and some just south of The New Inlet. These pictures say it all -- The water is cleaner and clearer than many can remember.