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Eastern Long Island Chapter

Past Campaigns

Ban the Sale of Gas Balloons in East Hampton

Launch Date: July 2021

Completion Date: December 2021

Status: Victory!

After the chapter successfully pushed for the ban on intentional release of helium balloons, we wanted to see further progress to reduce the accidental loss of gas-filled balloons.  The chapter wrote a letter of support to the East Hampton Town Board using data from our beach cleanups and spoke in three of their meetings, along with representatives from other environmental organizations. The ban passed unanimously in December 2021 and took effect on January 1, 2022. This effort was successful because of the local support from dozens of environmental groups, local businesses, school groups, and other activists — thank you all for making this happen!

Stop the Army Corps – Montauk Lighthouse Seawall

Launch Date: May 2004

Completion Date: January 2021

Status: Loss.

Despite years of work and activism, work has begun on the Montauk Lighthouse Seawall Revetment.
It is sad to see that surfing and fishing access will be interrupted during construction. It is even sadder to know that there have been five different revetment projects around the lighthouse since the 1940’s and each one has not lasted as long as expected. The chapter waged a valiant campaign to move the lighthouse away from its current location near the bluffs.

Stop New Offshore Oil Drilling

Launch Date: June 2017

Completion Date: January 2021

Status: VICTORY!

The Trump administration announced plans to expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Arctic Ocean. This drastic proposal would put our nation’s coastal communities, beaches, surf breaks, and marine ecosystems at risk of a catastrophic oil spill.

Then, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to address the climate emergency that halts new oil and gas leasing.  Working with coalition partners, Surfrider’s network passed state offshore drilling bans in California, Florida, New Jersey, Oregon, New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Virginia and Delaware.

Vote No, On Suffolk County Proposal #2

Launch Date: October 2020

Completion Date: November 2020

Status: Loss.

The goal of this campaign was to inform and urge Suffolk County Voters to vote NO to Suffolk County Proposal No. 2 / Resolution 547 on the back of the 2020 ballot and help protect and preserve Long Island’s drinking water.  Sadly, the vote was passed with a tally of 269,475 votes to 231,388 votes, according to the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

Reduce Water Quality Impacts on Little Fresh Pond

Launch Date: December 2017

Completion Date: September 2020

Status: VICTORY!

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.

In September of 2020, the Chapter received information from the Southampton Town Planning Board plans to augment the existing septic systems on site with new, IA septic systems that will reduce the impacts of nitrogen pollution on the nearby pond.

Ban Plastic Straws and Foam in Suffolk County

Launch Date: January 2019

Completion Date: April 2019

Status: VICTORY!

The goal of this campaign was to ban straws and foam in Suffolk County, which has 1.5 million residents.

Ban Plastic Straws and Foam in Southampton Town

Launch Date: August 2018

Completion Date: February 2019

Status: VICTORY!

The goal of this campaign was to ban straws and expanded polystyrene foam in Southampton Town.

Ban the Intentional Release of Balloons in East Hampton Town

Launch Date: January 2018

Completion Date: February 2019

Status: Victory!

The goal of this campaign was to ban the intentional release of balloons in East Hampton Town. Currently, it is legal to release up to 25 balloons per person in a 24 hour period in Suffolk County. We will be proposing this legislation to other town and perhaps county governmental representatives as well.

Transparent Recycling Practices on Long Island

Launch Date: August 2017

Completion Date: December 2018

Status: Inconclusive.

The Chapter attempted to investigate the recycling practices of residential facilities as well as common commercial carting companies in hopes to realize transparent recycling practices on the Island. We wanted to look into where the trash gets taken, what is actually recycled, and if there is the possibility of improving the system. However, due to limited transparency and limited capacity, our efforts did not uncover any needed information.  It was decided that the transfer stations were the best option for proper recycling on the East End.

Improved Signage for Blue-green Algae Blooms

Launch Date: May 2017

Completion Date: August 2018

Status: VICTORY!

The goal of this campaign was to achieve improved signage for bodies of water that are experiencing a blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms.

Remove the Trash Cans at Shinnecock Inlet 

Launch Date: November 08 2017

Completion Date: January 09 2018

Status: VICTORY!

The goal of this campaign was to remove the trash cans that were located at the Shinnecock Inlet, at the end of Road H in Hampton Bays.

Support Funding for Water Quality Improvements

Launch Date: August 01 2016

Completion Date: November 08 2016

Status: VICTORY!

The goal of this campaign was to get voter support for a ballot measure to extend the successful Community Preservation Fund in the five east end towns of Long Island and allow up to 20% of the funding to be spent on water quality improvement projects.

US Army Corps of Engineers’ Downtown Montauk “Stabilization” Project

Launch Date: October 09 2014

Completion Date: November 2015

Status: Loss

On Thursday, October 9, 2014, Eastern Long Island Chapter of Surfrider Foundation staged a protest of the Army Corps of Engineers’ proposal to construct an artificial dune on the publicly owned beach in downtown Montauk. The proposed work includes placing 14,000 sand bags – each weighing 1.7 tons – along 3,100 linear feet of the ocean intertidal zone seaward of the existing motels and seaward of the natural primary dune line in that area. The bags will be covered with a layer of sand and planted with beachgrass, a cosmetic touch that coastal geologist Rob Young describes as “the lipstick on the pig.”

Reflected wave energy from the geotextile bags will quickly erode the public beach. The motels were constructed many years ago on top of the existing primary dune, destroying that precious natural resource. This proposal will compound the mistakes made in the 1960s and 1970s: it will result in the destruction of the beach in addition to the already destroyed primary dune.

All blog posts about the Downtown Montauk Stabilization Project

Save Ditch Stop ED40

Launch Date: July 2014

Completion Date: June 2016

Status: VICTORY!

The iconic East Deck Motel in Montauk property sold for $15 million in 2013 to new owners who planned to concert the property to a members-only beach club. Nestled directly behind one of the most popular surf spots in Long Island, Ditch Plains, the project is an affront to all the issues the Surfrider Foundation works on. The chapter made a strong argument for the town instead building a park at this location, as Montauk is already confronting the consequences of building its downtown motels in a flood hazard zone. Surfrider managed to convince the owner of East Deck to sit down with the town of East Hampton to talk about the possibility of purchasing the land, but the price was too large for the Town.The chapter led the opposition to the project and successfully convinced local government to stop the expanded use of this property

All blog posts about Saving Ditch, Stopping ED40

Trailer Park Revetment

Launch Date: Winter 2013

Completion Date: Summer 2013

Status: VICTORY!

Blog Post about Trailer Park Revetment

A rock revetment was installed in front of the the Montauk Shores Condominiums at Ditch Plains during Winter of 2013, that not only restricted beach access but also accelerated the erosion of sand at Ditch Plains. The following summer for a period of time Ditch was closed to bathing due to the danger of rocks. It turned out that the rock sea wall violated the terms of the permit. Surfrider members incessantly called the Department of Environmental Conservation, who later determined that the sea wall was “significantly wider and higher than authorized.” The contractor was fined, and the revetment was scaled back.

Maintain Beach Access at Dolphin Drive/South Flora Park

Launch Date: October 2014

Completion Date: unknown

Status: unkown

Letter to East Hampton Town Supervisor

Say “No” To Liquid Natural Gas Facilities

Launch Date: June 2005

Completion Date: December 2008

Status: VICTORY!

The Chapter has joined a large environmental coalition opposed to the Broadwater Liquefied Natural Gas facility proposed for the middle of LI Sound. Broadwater is opposed by all local state and federal legislators. The chapter has submitted comments in opposition to the Broadwater plan to FERC, the Governor, the NY Department of State and our legislators. After three and a half years of persistently expressing legitimate concerns, Long Island¹s voice was acknowledged! On Thursday, April 10th, Governor David A. Paterson formally announced that Broadwater was found to be inconsistent with the Long Island Sound Coastal Management Program (LISCMP) and thus should NOT be permitted in Long Island Sound.

Blog posts about Liquid Natural Gas Facilities