Hauppauge, NY Thursday May 14, 2015 -- $5 million for clean water. Breakthrough on Cape Cod. Latest L.I. water projects. These and other topics will be presented at the fourth annual “Water We Going To Do?” conference at the UPSKY Long Island Hotel in Hauppauge on May 14 from 9:30-1:00. Presented by the Long Island Clean Water Partnership and sponsored by the Rauch Foundation, the program will report on progress in the effort to reverse declining drinking and surface water quality on Long Island.
Among the subjects being presented:
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Long Island Regional Planning Council have been allocated $5 million in the state budget to begin a groundwater improvement plan.
Cape Cod recently release is a comprehensive wastewater management plan which provides a very useful framework for addressing nearly all of the issues Long Island is currently working on to address our island’s water resources. It provides for watershed-by-watershed nitrogen assessment and loading analysis, as well as nitrogen reduction targets for each watershed, and a local regulatory program to obtain nitrogen reduction goals.
Cape Cod’s groundwater system is very much like Long Island’s and has been facing similar quality declines.
A dozen water quality programs are already underway in Nassau and Suffolk Counties designed to improve water quality. Speakers involved with these projects will explain what’s working and what’s not.
“Restoring Long Island’s groundwater is our number one priority and we’re making enormous progress,” said Richard Amper, Executive Director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society and a core group leader of the Clean Water Partnership, “and this may be the breakthrough year for implementing major reforms in the way we deal with wastewater.” Long Island’s underground water supply is declining as a result of nitrogen from sewers and septic systems, as well as pesticides, toxic chemicals and unused pharmaceuticals.
Robert DeLuca, President of the Group for the East End said, “With momentum for water quality still gaining strength, and funding in place to develop a new vision for water quality protection on Long Island, this should be the year that we translate our best water quality intentions into effective and lasting action.”
“The next few years will decide the future of our island’s water supply. This effort is too important to fail and it is critical we get it right,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “We need to make tough decisions, craft a plan and work together to ensure this plan is successfully implemented.”
“Local waters that are clean and healthy support tourism, boating, fishing and plentiful seafood –but harmful algal blooms from nitrogen pollution that we are already seeing in Long Island’s bays –put that all at risk,” said Kevin McDonald, conservation finance and policy director for The Nature Conservancy on Long Island. "Our waters create jobs and generate hundreds of millions of dollars every year for our regional economy. But since Long Island’s water infrastructure is old and deteriorating, we need to modernize, upgrade and fix what’s wrong with the way we manage wastewater.”
The Long Island Clean Water Partnership is composed of more than 100 business and community groups and more than 17,000 members.