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Vote! Support the Suffolk County Water Quality Restoration Fund

Vote! Support the Suffolk County Water Quality Restoration Fund

Pass a Water Quality Protection Ballot Measure This November

Help protect water quality in Eastern Long Island! Suffolk County residents have a rare chance at the ballot box this November to improve the quality of our drinking water and local streams, rivers, lakes, and ocean.

When you vote this November, 2024, support the Water Quality Restoration Fund (exact proposition number tbd). This measure will provide funding to add sewage infrastructure for Suffolk County homes and swap out old, polluting septic systems in areas where sewers cannot be extended. 

Suffolk County residents are sustained by the waters that surround us. We swim, surf, boat, and fish in our bays and harbors and get our drinking water from the sole source aquifer beneath our feet. We’re drawn to the island by its spectacular beaches, idyllic parks and preserves, and are nourished by local farms, vineyards, and fisheries.

But Suffolk County water quality has suffered from an estimated 380,000 nitrogen-polluting cesspools and septic systems. Scientific research shows that nitrogen pollution from untreated sewage is suffocating our bays and harbors and is increasingly in our drinking water. The harmful effects of excess nitrogen are far reaching--from beach closings, fish kills, and harmful algal blooms--to possible linkages to cancer.

The ballot measure will raise the County sales tax by 1/8 of one penny (.125%), or about 12 cents on a $100 purchase. While a small change for the consumer, it would be a HUGE benefit to our drinking and recreational water -- raising approximately two billion dollars toward the installation of advanced wastewater treatment through 2060.

These important changes to our wastewater infrastructure have been a long time coming. Our Surfrider volunteers pushed to get a ballot measure last year, only to see it disappear under political motivations. This May, Governor Kathy Hochul signed the necessary state level bill to authorize the Suffolk County Legislature to act on this issue. In June, the Legislature did just that, clearing the path for the ballot measure this November.

Join our broad range of stakeholders including labor unions, public officials, conservationists, building trades, and business leaders, and support clean water at the ballot box in Suffolk County this November!