02/27/15 10:00am
02/27/2015 10:00 AM
A sandbar juts into Peconic Bay at the end of Pine Neck Road in Southold. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A sandbar juts into Peconic Bay at the end of Pine Neck Road in Southold. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

The issue of antiquated or failing septic systems compromising the quality of the East End’s ground and surface waters is once again taking center stage as the region presses for help from Albany to deal with polluted waters.  (more…)

02/11/15 2:00pm
02/11/2015 2:00 PM
Experts say native plants like these New England asters are preferred for rain gardens. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

Experts say native plants like these New England asters are preferred for rain gardens. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

A unique program that allowed for a small number of homeowners in Southold and Southampton towns to earn a rebate of up to $500 for installing rain gardens, rain barrels or other forms of “conservation landscaping” on their properties has been expanded to include a portion of Riverhead and other areas.  (more…)

02/11/15 10:00am

Landscapers and do-it-yourself homeowners interested in learning how to go green organically will have an opportunity to do just that during an upcoming informational seminar spearheaded by the Perfect Earth Project.

One of the newest environmental advocacy groups on the East End, it has teamed up with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and the Peconic Land Trust to offer an all-day seminar on Feb. 13.  (more…)

12/22/14 10:00am
12/22/2014 10:00 AM
The Riverhead sewage treatment plant on Dec. 8 (Credit: Tim Gannon)

The Riverhead sewage treatment plant pictured on Dec. 8. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Thursday announced it has developed a new system to alert the public of sewage pollution discharging from treatment plants into nearby water.

It comes just weeks after reports of partially treated sewage discharging into the Peconic River from Riverhead Town’s sewage treatment plant — which happened on four occasions in 2014 due to mechanical failure.

(more…)

12/10/14 5:00pm
12/10/2014 5:00 PM
Daniella Ferina, Riverhead Foundation staff biologist, administering warmed IV fluids Wednesday morning to a sea turtle. (Credit: Riverhead Foundation)

Daniella Ferina, Riverhead Foundation staff biologist, administering warmed IV fluids Wednesday morning to a sea turtle. (Credit: Riverhead Foundation)

After rescuing two endangered sea turtles in just 24 hours, biologists with the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation are asking residents to keep an eye out for cold-stunned sea turtles following Tuesday’s nor’easter.

High tides along the north shore after 3 p.m today could leave turtles stranded on north facing beaches, exposing them to frigid water and air temperatures, according to the organization.

(more…)

12/06/14 8:00am
12/06/2014 8:00 AM
Paul Squire file photo  |  When the Riverhead Sewer District is able to upgrade its facility off Riverside Drive, the water being currently treated at the plant would then be pumped through a new, high-tech filtration system before reaching Peconic Bay.

When the Riverhead Sewer District finishes its plant upgrade its facility off Riverside Drive, the water being currently treated at the plant would then be pumped through a new, high-tech filtration system before reaching Peconic Bay. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

Mechanical failure led to Riverhead Town’s sewage treatment plant dumping  improperly treated sewage into the Peconic River on three different occasions last month, according to the Suffolk County health department.

Michael Reichel, the town’s sewer plant superintendent, confirmed Friday the plant exceeded the amount of fecal coliform bacteria it is permitted to discharge into the Peconic on Nov. 26, as well as two other days in November, Nov. 5 and Nov. 19.

The town has not been issued a violation “yet”, Mr. Reichel said.

Another incident occurred in August.

 

The state Department of Environmental Conservation issued a Notice of Violation to the town Thursday, saying the town had until Jan. 5 to respond with a corrective action plan, said Aphrodite Montalvo, a DEC spokeswoman.

The town could be fined up to $37,500 for each incident, Mr. Reichel said.

(more…)

12/03/14 12:00pm
12/03/2014 12:00 PM
The area that will be restored at Indian Island County Park. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

The area that will be restored at Indian Island County Park. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Suffolk County is moving forward with a million-dollar plan to restore seven acres of land at Indian Island County Park in Riverhead that once served as a dumping ground for the county’s dredging projects. The measure is expected to improve the surrounding ecosystem by re-opening proper tidal flow to the area.  (more…)

11/23/14 8:00am
11/23/2014 8:00 AM
The sun rising over Orient Harbor in Orient. (Credit: Tim Kelly file photo)

The sun rising over Orient Harbor in Orient. (Credit: Tim Kelly file photo)

Three clean water initiatives with North Fork ties have been granted some significant federal funding as part of a larger effort to protect the Long Island Sound, federal officials announced Wednesday.

Project proposals from the environmental advocacy groups Peconic Green Growth, the Azuero Earth Project and the American Farmland Trust were among 22 awarded to receive a total of $1.3 million. (more…)