08/22/14 11:00am
08/22/2014 11:00 AM
Rust tide caused by Cochlodinium in Peconic Estuary in 2012. (Credit: Bill Portlock)

Rust tide caused by Cochlodinium in Peconic Estuary in 2012. (Credit: Bill Portlock)

It’s a well-known story around these parts: One summer, around the mid-1980s, an explosion of harmful algae began to appear, sucking oxygen out of bay waters causing a die-off of eelgrass, shellfish and even finfish.

For the past few decades, the seasonal story has been on repeat — not only here, but in other states along the East Coast. It’s the result of nitrogen and other nutrients leaching into groundwater, mostly from underground cesspools and septic tanks.  (more…)

08/22/14 10:59am
Rhode Island lawmakers were moved to act to restore water quality in area bays after thousands of juvenile fish turned up dead in Greenwich Bay on Aug. 20, 2003. Algal blooms were blamed for the kill. (Credit: Tom Ardito)

Rhode Island lawmakers were moved to act to restore water quality in area bays after thousands of juvenile fish turned up dead in Greenwich Bay on Aug. 20, 2003. Algal blooms were blamed for the kill. (Credit: Tom Ardito)

Here’s a breakdown of how three states close to Long Island are finding solutions to water quality issues.
(more…)

08/03/14 8:00am
08/03/2014 8:00 AM
A view of Bailie Beach in Mattituck (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

A view of Bailie Beach in Mattituck (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Any conversation about sewage management in Suffolk County should begin with the current state of our waters. In conformance with the federal Clean Water Act, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation assesses water bodies throughout the state. Numerous water bodies throughout Long Island are classified as “Impaired Waters” (303d list).  (more…)

07/31/14 5:00am
07/31/2014 5:00 AM
(Credit: The Nature Conservancy)

This map uses pie charts to break down the various sources and levels of nitrogen pollution found in the Peconic Estuary from Calverton to Montauk and Orient. Click on map to enlarge. (Credit: The Nature Conservancy)

To the editor:

Controlling nitrogen in groundwater and the bays. As a former Suffolk County Health Department employee, I am familiar with the nitrogen in groundwater and its impact to surface water. I applaud the county for looking at wastewater discharges, specifically on-site disposal, and studying the latest nitrogen removal technologies. (more…)

06/27/14 12:00pm
06/27/2014 12:00 PM
A view of the bay and SHelter Island from Pepi's Restaurant in Southold, near Port of Egypt. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A view of the bay and SHelter Island from Pepi’s Restaurant in Southold, near Port of Egypt. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Despite the op/ed pieces, press conferences, television appearances and lobbying by county and state officials and environmentalists from across the region, 2014 may not be the year for clean water on Long Island.

The state Senate failed to act last week on sweeping legislation aimed at safeguarding Nassau and Suffolk county’s many bays and tributaries, Long Island Sound and groundwater aquifers.

(more…)

06/11/14 2:23pm
06/11/2014 2:23 PM
The water bill is designed to clean groundwater and prevent pollution and harmful algal blooms in the bays and Long Island Sound. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

The water bill is designed to clean groundwater and prevent pollution and harmful algal blooms in the bays and Long Island Sound. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

After an up-Island assemblyman recently pitched a clean water bill creating a timeline for improving wastewater treatment systems, matching legislation has been proposed in the state Senate, potentially clearing the way for sweeping water quality reform in Albany before the end of next week.

If signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the bill stands to affect property owners throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.  (more…)

06/10/14 2:59pm
06/10/2014 2:59 PM
Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, calling for the banning of certain pesticides at the DEC's Draft Long Island Pesticide Pollution Prevention Strategy hearing at Suffolk County Community College in Northampton last year. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, calling for the banning of certain pesticides at the DEC’s Draft Long Island Pesticide Pollution Prevention Strategy hearing at Suffolk County Community College in Northampton last year. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

After 16 years of research and debate, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has released its strategy for safeguarding Long Island’s water supplies from pesticide contamination.

But that final document, at its heart, simply calls for more research and debate.  (more…)