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LICWP

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LICWP Announces 2015 Action Plan on Earth Day

Long Island Maritime Museum, West Sayville, NY April 22, 2015: NY A day before the 45th anniversary of “Earth Day” celebrations, leaders of the Long Island Clean Water Partnership are announcing their top priority actions for reversing water quality decline on Long Island.  They include recommended actions of government at a federal, state and county level.

 

Among the key elements of their Action Plan are establishing funding and mechanisms to develop water quality criteria for nitrogen and other contaminants.  Nitrogen from sewage and fertilizers, pesticides and toxic chemicals have resulted in significantly diminished groundwater quality and waters in our bays and harbors, island-wide.

 

“Earth Day is a celebration of the environment worldwide,” said Richard Amper, Executive Director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society and a member of the Long Island Clean Water Partnership, “but we want to focus on the work needed to restore water quality on Long Island, before the celebrating begins.”

 

Robert DeLuca, President of Group for the East End and also a Clean Water Partnership member said, “We want to learn from past recognition of the challenges involved in improving drinking and surface waters and incorporate them into a new plan to clean up the water supply that lies beneath our feet.” He cited the historic “208 Study” which identified threats to Long Islander groundwater, decades ago, and urged action to implement solutions.

 

“We need to repair and construct   new outfall pipes for the Bay Park and Bergen Point Sewage Treatment Plans,” declared Adrienne Esposito, Executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, another Water Partnership member.  “These are specific actions to clean up our water, not merely ‘feel good’ acknowledgements of the importance of the environment to the planet’s citizens.”

 

“The biggest environmental threat facing Long Island is nitrogen pollution from sewage,” said Kevin McDonald, Director of Public Policy for The Nature Conservancy and Partnership member. “Beach closures, fish kill-off from pollution and unsafe conditions keep us from enjoying the best of our local seafood, beaches and bays.  The plan is a well thought out blueprint for action that, if followed, will ensure that local water quality will improve for generations to come.”

 

Among a dozen recommended actions advanced by the Long Island Clean Water Partnership are obtaining funding for wastewater treatment for homes with individual cesspools or septic systems, improved technology for  centralized sewer systems, implementation of a New York State Pesticide Management Plan and use of post-Hurricane Sandy funding for coastal resiliency to restore bays and harbors.

 

The Partnership’s news conference was symbolically held in front of the Great South Bay, a water body whose hard shell clam production has decreased 99% in the past 50 years as a direct result of nitrogen pollution from sewage.

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A full copy of the 2015 Action Plan can be found here.


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