The Eastern Long Island Chapter has been hard at work providing year-round water quality information to the community, advocating for change with local government officials and stopping single-use plastics from the source. Please take a look at our half-year report card, as of Mid-July 2019.
Working with three local partners - Concerned Citizens of Montauk, Peconic Baykeeper, and Dr. Christopher Gobler’s Laboratory - the Blue Water Task Force remains the #1 source of water quality information in Eastern Long Island. At any given time, there 20-30 volunteer water samplers collecting samples from 50 locations year-round, and on a weekly basis during the busy summer months.
This information is shared via social media (Faceboook and Instagram), to Water Quality Alert email subscribers (subscribe here), and with local government officials to alert them as to where water quality problems exist.
Blue Water Task Force results have encouraged local governments to take a closer look to some high bacteria hot spots including:
- East Hampton Town's investigation of the Surfside Place Outfall Pipe (aka Lowenstein Court Outfall Pipe).
- The re-design of Georgica Pond's Route 27 Kayak Launch / Rest Stop and Cove Hollow Access location to prevent water pollution of stormwater runoff.
- The Homeowner's Association's investigation of the source of bacteria found in Little Fresh Pond using Environmental Canine Services and state of the art microbial source tracking.
Surfrider Foundation is looked to for water quality information and is frequently invited to the table with stakeholder groups to represent the voice of ocean recreationists.
The Surfrider Foundation's two existing Ocean Friendly Gardens in the East Hampton Village Green and Amagansett Square continue to deepen their roots.
In May of 2019, Surfrider's Chapter Coordinator, Ocean Friendly Garden's Coordinator, and Piazza Horticultural Group gave a talk entitled "Bioswales: A New Vision for East Hampton’s Village Green" at the East Hampton Library as part of the Tom Twomey Series.
At this event, the Chapter introduced the concept of a new Bioswale Project to be installed on the Methodist Lane green where current pollution problems exist.
So far in 2019, Surfrider Eastern Long Island has held seven beach cleanups, removing 1479 pounds of debris from the beaches.
For the second year in a row, Surfrider Eastern Long Island took our marine debris to the streets through the creation of a St. Patrick's Day parade float, created by Munaco Art.
The chapter has been using beach cleanup data to spur a number of plastics-related campaigns in local town, village and county governments including these recent victories:
- Southampton Town Banned Plastic Straws (February 2019)
- Suffolk County Banned Plastic Straws (April 2019)
- Polystyrene Foam:
- East Hampton Town Banned Polystyrene Foam (January 2019)
- Southampton Town Banned Polystyrene Foam (February 2019)
- Suffolk County Banned Polystyrene Foam (April 2019)
- Ongoing Balloon Campaigns:
Through four education programs so far in 2019, the Chapter has educated a total of 261 people (232 children and 29 adults) about the impacts of plastic pollution and polluted water, and how to become part of the solution rather than the problem.
An eternal thank you to all of our volunteers and supporters who make this work possible. If you're impressed with what we do, become a member, make a donation, and check out our calendar of upcoming events. We look forward to seeing you out there!
For our ocean, waves and beaches,
Surfrider Foundation Eastern Long Island