The Nature Conservancy released the following statement from Kevin McDonald, The Nature Conservancy’s Long Island policy advisor:
“After a decade of escalating water quality maladies that have plagued Long Island, The Nature Conservancy applauds Governor Kathy Hochul for increased investments to bring clean water and healthy coasts back to Long Island in her State of the State address today. As the nation’s first and New York’s largest suburb, Long Island’s local water and wastewater infrastructure is inadequate for today’s needs and is the root cause of local water problems. Outdated infrastructure allows untreated sewage to contaminate Long Island’s water and intensify harmful algal blooms. Most of our water problems originate with antiquated septic systems and outdated sewage treatment plants. Sewage contaminates our drinking water, harms our bays and harbors, threatens a $5 billion tourism economy, and puts the health of people, pets, and wildlife at risk.
“Addressing nitrogen pollution from sewage on Long Island is a shared priority for local government, communities, businesses, environmental leaders, labor, and contactors. We’re pleased to see additional funding to replace polluting septic systems with clean water technology, as well as a proposal for a Suffolk County Wastewater Management District. We need these increased investments and look forward to working with the Governor and State Legislature to restore clean water for Long Islanders.”
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.