This series -- which runs from Monday the 23rd of September to Friday the 27th with a one hour live special Thursday the 26th 7-8 -- is an admirable effort on the part of News12 and its President Pat Dolan, as well as all the scientists within The Long Island Clean Water Partnership and others to bring to light the challenges we face collectively as Long Islanders when it comes to assuring our water quality and our way of life for future generations. The problems are immense, but the solutions are there, if we decide, together on this island we call home, to take action. Our children and grandchild should also fish, swim, clam, and sail as we had, and Long Island should remain a place where people raise their families knowing the water is safe to drink and the environment is a healthy one. News12 understands the urgency, as does the 125+ organizations that make up The Long Island Partnership for Clean Water.
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.
Scott Gerber got these magnificent shots of The Old Inlet from his 1946 Piper Cub.
Start using lawn and agricultural fertilizers that are eco-friendly, that don't pollute our groundwater, drinking water and bays with excess nitrogen and phosphorus. The excess nitrogen has been contributing to brown tide, red tide, rust tide, red tide and blue green algae, and these have been killing our bays and in some cases rendering the water toxic. Click here to see what Nitrogen Free recommends for lawn care as they work to support Save Barnegat Bay. What ever bay we are speaking of, on Long Island or not, the issues are the same -- too much nitrogen in the groundwater from fertilizer and septic seepage leading to algal blooms and dying bays.
As we began to learn about the breach, how barrier beaches in fact behave and evolve, and began to see how it was actually a lifeline for an otherwise dying bay, saw that it was flushing Bellport Bay especially, and bringing back the bay we knew, we began to use the term 'breach' ironically. "Life's a Breach!" reads one bumper sticker. Against all the hysteria leveled at it, people posted 'The Breach ate my baby!,' or 'The Breach cheats at golf,' or 'The Breach stole my woman!" We will be having a Breach Party this Saturday in fact, keeping with the spirit of this.
Michael Busch of Bellport takes News12 out to The Old Inlet/Breach to show them how much healthier that part of the bay has become since Sandy created it six months ago -- fluke, sea turtles, seal, osprey, clear waters.
This project requires a wide cast net. Storm pictures are great but we want to see Fire Island on a good day too. Surfers, surfcasters, sunbathers, cross-dressers, nudists, nature, and nightlife – Fire Island is so many things to so many people; so share your photos, memories and stories.
With over 500,000 septic tanks on Long Island, we have a monumental water quality problem on our hands. With a further 180 local small scale sewage treatment plants on Long Island, the problem gets worse. With antiquated large scale treatment facilities further polluting our bays, chief among them The Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, crippled by Sandy and spewing millions upon millions of gallons of semi-treated sewage into the Western Bays, we have a disaster of monumental proportions on our hands, yet the issue is vastly under reported, and both the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the EPA are failing to address the issue, refusing, it seems, to enforce the laws already on the books, specifically The Clean Water Act.
The outbreak of the brown tide caused by Aureococcus in Great South Bay during late June and early July came as a surprise to citizens and scientists alike as it ended nearly eight months of what some had deemed “gin-clear” water facilitated in part by the new ocean inlet created by Hurricane Sandy. An analysis of environmental data (see accompanying graphic; salinity and chlorophyll data courtesy of Dr. C. Flagg) during June provides some clear signs as to the cause of this brown tide.
The Great South Bay must be preserved for future generations.
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.
has been monitoring the breach since Sandy, measuring tides, as well as the depth and breadth of The Breach/New Inlet on a monthly basis. Here then is their June 28th report, which presents what the current conditions are there, comparing them to how they were over the past 7 months. This regular analysis is crucial, since there will be some decision taken on the fate of The Breach / New Inlet soon. Whatever decision the NYSDEC makes needs to be based on science, rather than politics. Is the breach getting bigger? Is it at all increasing the likelihood / intensity of flooding on The Great South Bay? And what of the benefits? What does this influx of clean ocean water mean for The Great South Bay and the towns of The South Shore?