06/12/15 5:59am
06/12/2015 5:59 AM
From left, Walter Dawydiak, director of the Suffolk County Health Department Division Of Environmental Quality; Dr. Alison Branco, director of the Peconic Estuary Program; Dr. Christopher Gobler, biologist at Stony Brook University; and Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment at Thursday's meeting in Hauppauge. The panel discussed water quality issues. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

From right, Walter Dawydiak, Dr. Alison Branco, Dr. Christopher Gobler and Adrienne Esposito. The panel discussed water quality issues Thursday in Hauppauge. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

County lawmakers, scientists and environmentalists acknowledge nitrogen overloading in local waterways is the biggest contributor to the recent die-off of fish and turtles.

They also agree aging septic tanks and failing cesspool systems are mostly to blame for brown and red tides in the Peconic Estuary, as well as toxic blue-green algae at Lake Marratooka in Mattituck.

The public’s reliance of fertilizers is a problem, too, experts say.

In an effort to address the recent fish kill in Riverhead that some experts have described as unprecedented, Legislator Dr. William Spencer (D-Centerport), chairman of the Suffolk County Health Committee, assembled a panel discussion at Thursday’s health committee meeting in Hauppauge.

(more…)

06/09/15 12:52pm
06/09/2015 12:52 PM
Neal Lewis (second from right) presents a proposed county Climate Action Plan at Tuesday's meeting. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Neal Lewis (second from right) presents a proposed county Climate Action Plan at Tuesday’s meeting. (Credit: Paul Squire)

In an effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Suffolk County is hoping an incentive for business and homeowners to improve their buildings will help spur upgrades on outdated structures.

A low-cost, long-term financing program to help cover the costs of those upgrades was pitched on Monday as a means to help finance them.

(more…)

06/04/15 5:55am
06/04/2015 5:55 AM
A volunteer committee is seeking solutions to tk. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Representatives from the East End’s five towns met Wednesday in Riverhead. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

All five East End towns already have policies on the books when it comes to managing their own deer herds.

But a new approach spearheaded by Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski hopes to create a unified plan among all the towns about to best control wildlife — which know no municipal borders.

(more…)

05/22/15 5:59am
05/22/2015 5:59 AM
The Riverside traffic circle is expected to be reconfigured, though it's not sure when. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

The Riverside traffic circle is expected to be reconfigured, though it’s not sure when. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Funding that had been slated to reconfigure the Riverside traffic circle is now in danger of being diverted next year. But a movement is afoot to keep that money in place.

The infrastructure project is one that some say is critical to the hamlet’s future, particularly at a time when other efforts are in the works to improve quality of life in the economically distressed area of Southampton Town. (more…)

05/06/15 8:00am
05/06/2015 8:00 AM
Southold highway department crews patching potholes on Main Street in Greenport in February 2014, when there wasn't as much work to do. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

Southold highway department crews patching potholes on Main Street in Greenport in February 2014, when there wasn’t as much work to do. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

Elected leaders from across Suffolk are demanding more state funding to help repair roads severely damaged during a cold and snowy winter.

The East End Supervisors and Mayor Association — which includes the supervisors of Southold, Riverhead and Shelter Island and the mayor of Greenport — has penned a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo requesting a one-time jump in CHIPS funding, which is federal money that is distributed by the state Department of Transportation to local government for maintenance of local roads and bridges. (more…)

05/01/15 8:00am
05/01/2015 8:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  Southold trustee and bayman Jim King harvests oysters and clams in Mattituck Inlet last year.

Southold trustee and bayman Jim King harvests oysters and clams in Mattituck Inlet last year. (Barbaraellen Koch file photo)

The East End’s baymen — at least what’s left of them — are getting a hand from local governments, which are trying to open up shellfish beds that were designated as polluted by the state but could actually be quite clean.

Due to a state regulatory agency that’s strapped for time and money, a new agreement from the Suffolk County Legislature and the Peconic Estuary Protection Committee will set up standard practices for the county and East End towns to test their own water under the state’s strict guidelines. (more…)

04/20/15 8:00am
04/20/2015 8:00 AM

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A rare and potentially fatal tick-borne illness is becoming increasingly prevalent throughout the Northeast, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Cases of the Neuroinvasive Powassan Virus, or POW, are few and far between but are often serious and becoming more common — both in terms of diagnosis and notoriety. Earlier this month Powassan, which can cause brain inflammation, caused a stir in Connecticut when state officials there announced the disease is starting to show up in more deer ticks in Bridgeport and Branford.

The story has since received national news coverage. (more…)

03/13/15 8:00am
03/13/2015 8:00 AM
Potted ornamental plants in one of the greenhouses at Jamesport Greenhouses on Herricks Lane. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Potted ornamental plants in one of the greenhouses at Jamesport Greenhouses on Herricks Lane. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A Greek yogurt boom has brought herculean increases in sales to a couple of upstate counties in recent years, knocking Suffolk County out of its long-coveted spot as New York State’s No. 1 seller of agricultural products, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Between 2007 to 2012, the county fell to third in the state, according to the survey, which is conducted every five years. (more…)