In advance of Labor Day weekend, The Nature Conservancy reminds the public to think about where their water comes from –underground –and to understand the importance of keeping that water supply clean and protected.
When you go swimming this weekend look down, can you see your toes? When you go fishing is there more salad on your hook than at your BBQ? Is it safe to eat the shellfish from your local waterways? If not, have you ever wondered why?
“Many Long Islanders will be using or drinking local waters this weekend, but most don’t realize that the water we all use comes from under our feet, under our driveways and lawns, under the places we flush our toilets and even under the Long Island Expressway,” said Carl LoBue, senior marine scientist for The Nature Conservancy on Long Island. “That said, the water that we drink and the water that flows from underground into our bays and harbors, is compromised by what we put into it. Most people don’t know that the number one threat to our water quality is from septic waste flowing into our waters.”
“In order to ensure a clean and healthy water supply for Long Island’s present and future, we have to take additional and collective measures to protect water quality, starting with decreasing the amount of nitrogen that is flowing into our waters,” said Kevin McDonald, director of conservation finance and policy for The Nature Conservancy on Long Island. “The threats to our waters can be reduced if we act now to address them. The public needs to understand what the problems are before they can support solutions.”
The Nature Conservancy has identified the Top Three Threats to Water Quality on Long Island:
The Nature Conservancy and partners are working to maintain and restore water quality. The group is looking to establish a new ground water nitrogen standard at the New York State level that protects public health as well as the health of bays, harbors and streams across the Island. This will require preserving open space, modernizing existing infrastructure and restoring habitats in areas shown to have degraded water quality.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
Director of Communications
PO Box 5125
East Hampton, NY 11937
631-329-3981, ext 20