Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions



For immediate release:
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 516-390-7150, 631-384-1378 (mobile), aesposito@citizenscampaign.org


Press Statement by CCE Executive Director Adrienne Esposito

Farmingdale, NY—Long Island, consistent with the rest of NYS, experienced an increased number of beach closures last year, as compared to the previous year. In 2009 there were a total of 888 beach closures days for Long Island, up from 808 the previous year. Several beaches were closed for extended periods of time, one closed for the entire season.

“The 2010 Testing the Waters report highlights a clear need to continually reduce polluted run-off to keep our beaches open and healthy. In New York, 76% of all closures were due to polluted stormwater run-off. On Long Island there were several problem beaches that had new or reoccurring problems with elevated levels of bacteria.

The good news is that we have manageable and cost effective solutions to this problem. Members of the public can ensure they pick up after their pets, reduce pesticides on their lawns, and stop feeding geese. Communities can invest in sensible and inexpensive green infrastructure projects such as permeable pavement, vegetated swales, maintaining native vegetation, rain gardens and green roofs. Green infrastructure harnesses nature, allowing the earth to absorb the water and slowing its release into storm systems. These solutions are cheap, easy and effective.

We are the solution to water pollution, but we need municipalities to assist us in these efforts.”

Long Island Highlights

Centerport Yacht Club, Centerport, NY. Most notably, Centerport Yacht Club experienced a full seasonal closure due to high bacteria counts. (The days closed counted between Memorial Day and Labor Day was 107- significantly contributing to Suffolk’s overall closure numbers.) The good news is that Congressman Israel, the Town of Huntington, Centerport Yacht Club and CCE spearheaded a massive effort to address the water quality not only on the beach, but in Northport Harbor, Centerport Harbor and the surrounding waterways. Federal, State, County, Town and Village representatives have joined with stakeholder organizations to craft a plan to restore and protect these harbors and beaches. This planning process is underway.

Crescent Beach, Glen Cove, NY. Surprisingly, Crescent Beach was closed 87 days in 2009, from only 8 days in 2008. The report sites “one event” closing which means the days were consecutive.

Tanner Park Beach, Copiague, NY. Tanner Beach is a perennial favorite on the list. This beach was closed for 66 days in 2009, earning the distinction of number three on the list below. In 2008, the beach was also among the beaches with the most closures. The Town of Babylon needs to seek the source of pollution instead of simply closing the beach.

Top Ten LI Beach Closures in 2009

      Beach                                    County                     2009                            2008

1. Centerport Yacht Club Beach - Suffolk County     seasonal closure        9 days
                                                                                   107 days*
2. Crescent Beach, Glen Cove      Nassau County     87 days                      8 days
3. Tanner Park Beach, Copiague - Suffolk County     66 days                      69 days
4. Inc Village of Laurel Hollow -     Nassau County    22 days                      9 days
5. East Islip Beach -                       Suffolk County     22 days                      7 days
6. Phil Healey Beach -                   Nassau County     20 days                      7 days
7. Valley Grove -                           Suffolk County     18 days                      7 days
8. Bar Beach, North Hempstead    Nassau County    16 days                      8 days
9. Sayville Beach -                        Suffolk County      15 days                     5 days
10. Piping Rock Beach -                Nassau Countyy    15 days                    9 days

*Memorial Day to Labor Day = 107 days.


Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by mmurphy  7/28/10