Don't Drown Our Communities to Save NYC
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is creating a plan to combat future flooding in the New York metropolitan area, which could include massive storm barriers spanning New York Harbor, Western Long Island Sound, and other bays and tributaries. These storm surge barriers could permanently alter the landscape and health of these waterbodies and flood coastal communities in Long Island, Connecticut, and Westchester. They would also do nothing to address the real issue of climate change! In October, we worked with Congressman Tom Suozzi to get the Army Corps to hold a public meeting about its plan on Long Island. Prior to the meeting, we held a press conference with our partners at Save the Sound, Manhasset Bay Protection Committee, Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, Coalition to Protect Hempstead Harbor, and Friends of the Bay to raise concerns about this "Gates from Hell" proposal.
CCE's Adrienne Esposito Launches "Earth Witness News" Radio Show
Want to get the latest on cutting edge environmental issues from the person fighting for all of us 365 days a year? Adrienne Esposito is now hosting a radio show on WCRN 103.9 on the first Friday of the month at noon. The show premiered on October 5, and we just had another great show on November 2, featuring Carl LoBue from The Nature Conservancy discussing ocean protection. Tune in next month for more Earth Witness News!
Showcasing Green Projects in Buffalo that Protect the Great Lakes
We were pleased to organize a tour, led by our friends at PUSH Buffalo, of green infrastructure projects in the City of Buffalo. Green infrastructure is a network of decentralized stormwater management practices, such as rain gardens, green roofs, trees, and permeable pavement, that can capture and infiltrate rain where it falls. Not only is this reducing polluted runoff and sewage overflows that can pollute Lake Erie, but it is beautifying neighborhoods and creating training and employment opportunities for the community too!
Saying No to the Caithness II Power Plant on Long Island
Long Island's energy demand is stable, and PSEG has announced that renewable energy, not fossil fuels, is the most cost-effective and reliable way to meet the island's future energy needs. Despite there being no need for this project, the Town of Brookhaven has decided to allow Caithness to move forward with a 600 MW fossil fuel plant. This project will worsen the already poor air quality in Suffolk County and stifle efforts to transition to wind and solar. In October, we joined our partners in the Stop Caithness II Coalition for a press conference and rally, and then headed into Town Hall where we testified in opposition to this unnecessary, polluting power plant.
Reducing Plastic Bag Pollution in CT
CCE is a member of the Reusable Bag Alliance in Connecticut, a coalition made up of local groups working together to pursue a statewide plastic bag ban in 2019. In October, the Coalition met to discuss the problem of plastic pollution, existing strategies for encouraging reusable bag use, and potential bag ban legislation. The coalition includes members from BYO Greenwich, BYO Stamford, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the CT Food Association, and several other statewide and local environmental groups. Stay tuned for more info on how you can help get a statewide BYOBag bill passed in 2019!
Celebrating the South Shore Estuary Reserve: Boat Trip and Stewardship Awards
CCE, along with our partners in the South Shore Estuary Reserve, hosted the SSER Boat Tour and Stewardship Awards aboard the Lauren Kristy on the Great South Bay. Mr. Scott Bochner was honored for his dedication to protecting and restoring the Western Bays, fighting to upgrade the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, and consistent efforts in removing marine debris from the SSER. The other awardees were Mr. George Remmer and Mr. Richard Remmer, of the Snapper Inn, for their dedication to supporting the restoration of the South Shore Estuary Reserve, contribution to needed water quality monitoring, and generously providing resources to assist in protection efforts.
Finding Out Where Our Congressional Candidates Stand on the Environment
In October, we cosponsored and participated on a panel that asked questions in a debate between District 1 Congressman Lee Zeldin and his challenger, Perry Gershon. We found out where each candidate stands on critical Long Island environmental issues, including Plum Island protection, opposing offshore drilling, fostering renewable energy development, and reducing pollution to our ground and surface waters.
Protecting Our Drinking Water from 1,4-Dioxane
CCE is fighting for a health-based NYS drinking water standard for 1,4-dioxane, a likely carcinogen that has been detected at high levels in Long Island wells. Not only do we need to ban 1,4-dioxane in personal care products, but we need to treat the existing contamination to protect public health as well. In October, we attended a meeting of the NYS Drinking Water Quality Council to continue discussions on setting a state standard for 1,4-dioxane and PFOA, two emerging contaminants that are polluting drinking water in NY. We are calling for a health-based drinking water standard by the end of the year.
Calling for the Cleanup of a Long Island Superfund Site
The NYS DEC has proposed a cleanup plan for a portion of the DZUS superfund site on Long Island, located in West Islip. We attended the public meeting and submitted comments calling on the DEC to improve the proposed cleanup plan, which would remove only 19,000 cubic yards of sediment. We support Alternative 3, which provides the most comprehensive cleanup for this site. Alternative 3 will remove all of the contaminated sediment—24,000 cubic yards—at a cost of only $2 million dollars more than DEC's proposal.
Seventh Annual "Water We Going to Do?"
The Long Island Clean Water Partnership held our annual "Water We Going to Do?" Conference in October. We heard our federal, state, and local officials, as well as scientific experts, give updates on Long Island's fight against nitrogen pollution and other impairments facing our water resources. Keynote speaker Dr. Christopher Patrick offered some hope for our own waters as he discussed the success of the Chesapeake Bay restoration project. Thanks to everyone who turned out and made it our best conference yet!
Suffolk County: Change Out Your Septic System
Over the summer and fall, we have been hosting a series of forums highlighting the importance of reducing nitrogen pollution from outdated septic systems and cesspools. We will be helping residents secure grants to change out their old systems for new, on-site, nitrogen-reducing treatment systems through Suffolk County's Reclaim Our Water program. So far, we have held forums for residents of Huntington, Smithtown, Centereach, Cold Spring Harbor, and Riverhead, and have received a great response. Our next forum is at East Northport Public Library on November 29, and we hope to see you there!