Long Island Water Quality

Answers and Solutions

Huntington

Answers and Solutions As a fishermen and scientist, Carl LoBue ponders what our successors will think about the decisions we make today, and h

The Number of Fishingboats, Sailboats and Yachts

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 of 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.

Boating is one of the most popular recreational activities on Long Island.
Huntington Harbor Boating is one of the most popular recreational activities on Long Island. © Red Vault

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.

Explore Local Stories About Water Quality

We're Oyster Farmers
Montauk
An oyster farm with 1 million oysters can filter 50 million gallons of water per day, making them a critical piece in protecting Long Island's water quality from nitrogen pollution
Southwest Nassau County
Jim's Solution
A Freeport junkman Jim Ruocco has witnessed what happens when 50 million gallons per day of minimally treated sewage effluent are discharged into a poorly flushed estuary.
Answers & Solutions
Huntington
As a fishermen and scientist, Carl LoBue ponders what our successors will think about the decisions we make today, and how those decisions will impact the island’s fishing future.
Generations
Shelter Island
See how Long Island’s smallest township is a microcosm of the region-wide water quality problem.
On Display
Bellport
When the new Great South Bay inlet created by superstorm Sandy opened up, it formed an 8-mile undeveloped stretch of Fire Island called the Otis Pike High Dunes Wilderness Area.
It's Imperative
Mastic Beach
Mayor Maura Sperry talks about how water quality affects one of Long Island’s most flood-prone communities.
Something Lost
Oakdale
George Remmer, commercial fisherman, restaurant owner, and college professor, laments the changes he has seen around Great River, Grand Canal and Great South Bay.
Collapse of a Legacy
North Sea
Howard Pickerel has hand-built 600 boats in his backyard. Pickerel boats were at one time the backbone of Long Island’s shellfishing industry.
A New Perspective
Springs
Evelyn O'Doherty is a year-round stand-up paddleboard racer, paddler, surfer and yoga teacher who lives in East Hampton.
On Georgica Pond
Wainscott
Even Long Island’s most bucolic communities are not immune to the effects of nitrogen pollution.
A Chef's Connection
Greenport
Forty years ago Bruce Bollman had a vision that Long Island’s North Fork would become a destination calling for gourmet artisanal eateries.