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Water We Going To Do? V

Hauppauge, New York | Thursday, June 9, 2016 - ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE SHARES PROGRESS ON WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT
LONG ISLAND CLEAN WATER PARTNERSHIP HOSTS ANNUAL EVENT | THEME IS "ACTIONS TAKEN" PROGRESS MADE"

Nitrogen is reduced and a beach re-opens; a new septic system reduces nitrogen by 90%; a different approach to ocean outfall becomes a new system for aquifer protection.  These are just a few of the successful actions to reduce water contamination during the past year on Long Island, to be reported on at the Fifth Annual “Water We Going To Do” Conference, June 9th.

The Long Island Clean Water Partnership has gathered federal, state, county and local officials and some cutting edge scientists to report on their progress this past year in reducing nitrogen contamination of the Island’s drinking and surface water sources.  The conference will be held from 10:00 to 1:00 on Thursday, June 9th at the UPSKY Long Island Hotel, 110 Motor Parkway in Hauppauge.

In the past year, efforts to reverse the crisis of declining water quality on Long Island have turned from study and planning, to direct action. Enormous progress has been made in elevating the water quality issue among Long Island’s top priorities.

Government officials, business and environmental leaders and community activists will report on their progress in fighting nitrogen contamination from wastewater and fertilizers, over the past 12 months.  “We’re not just studying the problem – we’re taking action to do something about it,” said Richard Amper, Executive Director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, one of the founders of the Long Island Clean Water Partnership. The others are Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Robert Deluca, President of Group for the East End and Kevin McDonald, Conservation Director for The Nature Conservancy.

The “Water We Going To Do?” conference will hear about new technologies for replacing polluting cesspools and septic systems at individual homes and businesses.  Existing systems discharge sewage directly to groundwater.  This is responsible for more than half of the Nitrogen contamination that adversely impacts Long Island’s water supply.   Scientists will report on successful water remediation efforts where nitrogen reduction has allowed previously-shuttered facilities to re-open to the public. Nassau officials will present a new approach to ocean outfall.   And the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Long Island Regional Planning Council will discuss progress on a joint effort called the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan.  It is identifying each of Long Island’s watersheds, evaluating nitrogen loading at each and establishing science-based nitrogen discharge standards, suitable for each watershed.

Dr. Christopher Gobler of School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University explained, “We’re now seeing dramatic results from nitrogen reduction, including shuttered facilities being re-opened.  It’s very exciting,” he said.  And Kevin Law, President of the Long Island Association, the Island’s largest business group, observed, “We can’t have a healthy economy, if we don’t have a healthy environment.”   “Long Island needs both,” he added.

 

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