The Number of Fishing Boats, Yachts and Sailboats
Boating is one of the most popular recreational activities on Long Island. In 2014, New York State Parks reported 29,000 boats registered in Nassau and more than 64,000 boats registered in Suffolk. This is more than any other county in New York and excludes the unregistered canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and the like. The American Sportfishing Association reports that in 2011, more than 340,000 Nassau and Suffolk anglers spent $344.2M on retail fishing related purchases, contributing $569M to economic output and supporting some 4,000 jobs. The money that Long Islanders are willing to spend annually to enjoy our waters dwarfs the level of investment needed to restore and protect Long Island's most valuable natural asset.
We're Finally at the Point Where We Know Answers
Researchers have been studying nitrogen pollution and algae blooms for over 60 years. They've even mapped the entire genetic code of the algae that causes brown tide. It's now time to translate research results on nitrogen pollution into projects and policies that fix the problems that we began studying all those years ago. Strategies include upgrading sewage treatment infrastructure and transitioning to modern nitrogen reducing septic systems. The upgrades recently made to the Northport Sewage Treatment Plant have already reduced red tide and cleaned water enough to re-open a beach in Centerport after 7 years of being closed.
Every Generation Leaves a Legacy
We are the first generation who has the knowledge to fix our water quality problems. It's something we cannot ignore. We know from experience that the longer we wait, the worse things will get and the more expensive it will become. Cleaning up our water will protect the Long Island way of life for our children and grandchildren.