Highlights and Happenings: May 2019


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Celebrating 34 Years of Advocacy at Our Annual Gala


We celebrated 34 years of working to protect public health and the natural environment at our annual Environmental Equinox Gala this May. We were proud to honor Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone for his commitment to protecting Long Island’s waters, and Estee Lauder Companies for their dedication in fighting climate change by investing in renewable energy. Thanks so much to everyone who attended and celebrated with us!

Say NO to Plastic Pollution

  • Victory! Nassau County, NY Bans Polystyrene: Long Island will soon be Styrofoam-free! In April, Suffolk County banned polystyrene foam, aka Styrofoam. In May, the Nassau County Legislature voted unanimously to pass its own ban on polystyrene. Big thanks to all who came to the public hearing and vote, and special thanks to Legislators Ford, Schaefer, and Mule for their leadership on this bill. Next up – Westchester County!

  • Victory! Westport, CT Bans Plastic Cups, Straws, Stirrers, and Polystyrene Containers: After being the first municipality east of the Mississippi River to ban plastic bags over a decade ago, Westport, CT is once again leading the way in the fight against plastic pollution. With this ban on many of the most common single-use plastic items found in our parks and beaches, Westport has one of the most comprehensive laws to curb plastic pollution in the nation.

  • Stamford, CT BYOBag Law Takes Effect. Stamford’s ban on plastic bags, along with a 10 cent fee on paper, went into effect in May. Thanks again to the Stamford Board of Representatives for their leadership in the BYOBag movement.


Cleaning Up the Navy/Grumman Plume in Bethpage, NY

The contaminated groundwater plume in Bethpage continues to threaten drinking water and public health on Long Island, but there is some good news. NYS recently released a comprehensive plan to contain and remediate the plume. In May, we attended a roundtable discussion hosted by Congressman Tom Suozzi, and included the EPA, NYS DEC, Congressman King, the Supervisor of Oyster Bay, water providers, and other stakeholders. The attendees discussed the Navy’s plan and the state plan, and the crucial next steps we must take to remediate the plume. Now, we need your help. Join us on June 10th at 5pm at Bethpage High School for a public meeting and support the plan to finally clean up the Navy/Grumman Plume.

Fighting to Ban Offshore Drilling off of CT


CCE’s Lou Burch joined Senator Richard Blumenthal for a press conference highlighting the need to protect the Atlantic coast from dangerous offshore drilling and supporting a federal ban on offshore drilling. We spoke about how we must embrace renewable energy, not remain “fossil fools,” and the dangers posed to our waterways and our communities by allowing offshore oil and gas exploration in our region.

Collaborating in Buffalo, NY on Water Equity

In May, we participated in a water equity learning exchange held by the U.S. Water Alliance. Representatives from Buffalo, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Camden and other cities around the nation shared information on challenges and best practices to ensure clean water is available to all, particularly those in low-income communities.   Issues included drinking water affordability, lead in drinking water, climate change and urban flooding, and workforce development.

Tackling Odors from the Brookhaven Landfill

After years of complaints about the landfill being ignored by the Town of Brookhaven, we went to NYS Senator Monica Martinez for help. CCE joined residents, as well as teachers and parents from the nearby Frank P. Long School, for a meeting with the Senator to discuss the unbearable odors impacting local quality of life and the myriad of health impacts experienced by those living and working near the landfill. If the Town won’t help the community, we need our NYS leaders to step up and protect our air, health, and quality of life!

Protecting a National Treasure in the Atlantic Ocean

The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is located 150 miles off the coast of Cape Code and is about the size of Connecticut. It is the only marine national monument in the Atlantic and is home to a plethora of marine life including endangered sea turtles, whales, seabirds, and rare deep-sea corals. Unfortunately, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts are under attack from the Trump Administration’s attack on national monuments. In May, CCE and our allies met with U.S. Senator Murphy to discuss the importance of this national treasure. We are now gearing up for a big campaign to protect this National Monument, so stay tuned for more on how you can help to protect this treasure.

Talking Plastic Pollution in Western New York


CCE’s Brian Smith presented at an event held by the Tonawanda Commission for Conservation of the Environment on the threat that plastic pollution poses to the Great Lakes, and how the public can help address this problem. By bringing your own reusable bag, coffee mug, takeout container, straw, and more, everyone can help protect our lakes from plastic pollution.   Furthermore, he urged the public to contact their elected officials and support common sense policies to reduce single use plastic pollution, such as a ban on Styrofoam containers.

Working with our Great Lakes Allies in Detroit

In May, we attended the Healing Our Waters Great Lakes conference that was held in Detroit, MI.  This is the region’s largest Great Lakes gathering, and allowed us an opportunity to collaborate with stakeholders from all the Great Lakes States on how to continue to advance Great Lakes restoration.  Critical issues included ensuring increased federal funding, upgrading failing water infrastructure, drinking water affordability, keeping Asian carp out of the lakes, and more.

CCE’s Adrienne Esposito Makes City and State’s Long Island Power 100 List


CCE's Executive Director made the Long Island Power 100 List from City and State, which identify Long Island leaders making a difference on Long Island. Adrienne was honored for her work fighting to protect drinking water, reduce food waste, combat plastic pollution, and more.  Check out the full list here.

Heat Your Home Without Fossil Fuels!

We are an active member of the HeatSmart CNY campaign, which has been working to help CNY residents and businesses install modern, clean geothermal systems. HeatSmart CNY is a grassroots community initiative to support residents and businesses in exploring ways to improve the efficiency of their buildings, including air source, ground source, and hot water heat pump technologies. To learn more about geothermal technologies, join us at upcoming HeatSmart events. If you own a home or business in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, or Oswego Counties, you can sign up for a free, no obligation energy assessment!