Following the theme of sacrificing the public’s favorite natural areas for the benefit of oil and gas companies, the Trump administration has just announced plans to expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Arctic Ocean. This drastic proposal puts our nation’s coastal communities, beaches, surf breaks, and marine ecosystems at risk of a catastrophic oil spill.
Balloons are a common item found at beach cleanups, and pose an immediate threat to marine life. Right now, it is legal for an individual to release up to 25 balloons at a time in the State of New York. We are currently compiling letters from environmental organizations and passionate individuals, asking that the Village of Southampton to pass legislation prohibiting the intentional release of balloons during ceremonies or celebrations.
The Chapter will be investigating the recycling practices of residential facilities as well as common commercial carting companies in hopes to realize transparent recycling practices on the Island. We are looking into where the trash gets taken to, what is actually recycled, and if there is the possibility of improving the system.
Surfrider began sampling Little Fresh Pond in October of 2016, and over half of the samples taken have been above the EPA health standard for recreation. A day camp is being proposed on a property adjacent to Little Fresh Pond, that would service about 400-500 children at a time with 50 counselors living on site. In addition to the high bacteria levels that we have been measuring, our members are also concerned about the increased number of toxic blue-green algae blooms. They are a real health hazard and take away recreational opportunities for paddling, swimming, and fishing. If the proposed camp is approved for construction by the Town of Southampton, we ask that an advanced septic system be required to be installed on the property to prevent further water quality degradation from pathogens and nitrogen for the campers and the entire community.
Fresh Pond Beach in Amagansett is a popular beach for families to take children to play because of the calm, shallow bay water. Located at Fresh Pond is a creek that drains through the middle of the beach to meet the bay, but Blue Water Task Force Results for Fresh Pond Creek prove that the creek is extremely polluted with enterococcus, a fecal indicator bacteria. The goal of this campaign is to find the source of fecal pollution at Fresh Pond Beach in Amagansett.
The Eastern Long Island Chapter samples local waterways for bacteria that can be harmful to humans. Although the Blue Water Task Force does not sample for blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), the chapter is aware of the dangers and health implications of coming into contact with a body of water with a bloom. Our water quality samplers noticed inconsistencies with the signs that were being posted at beaches while water bodies were experiencing blooms. We are asking that the signs be easy to understand, include icons that can be interpreted by non-native English speakers, and be located at the point of access.
The trash cans were located at the easternmost part of Dune Road in Hampton Bays at the end of Road H, also known to locals at The Bowl. The Chapter noticed that the trash cans were frequently overflowing with waste, and that people were misusing the trash cans to dispose of household waste. When the cans overflow, it makes trash vulnerable to being blown around. Also, animals easily access the trash, spreading it all over the beach. After frequently sending in pictures of the situation, the Town of Southampton removed the trash cans from the Shinnecock Inlet on January 9th, 2018!
The US Army Corps of Engineers wants to build an 840 foot long seawall that will extend into the area known as Turtle Cove. This expansive project could dramatically impact this fragile ocean environment and a favorite local surf spot.