The Nature Conservancy’s Summer Benefit Raises Funds for Conservation on Long Island

East Hampton, NY | July 03, 2018

Over 330 guests attended The Nature Conservancy’s annual Summer Benefit on Saturday, June 30 at the Center for Conservation – raising funds for and awareness of the Conservancy’s clean water initiatives.

This year’s event was Co-Chaired by Anne and Nicolas Erni, Beverly and Michael Kazickas, and Marie and Kenneth Wong. Throughout the evening guests were asked to take the “VIP” Clean Water pledge – vote for clean water ballot initiatives, install and champion the use of nitrogen-reducing septic systems and plant native plants and eliminate chemicals and fertilizers.

Guests enjoyed a sustainable dinner by Glorious Foods and wine donated by Domaine Franey, and were treated to a series of informative videos about The Nature Conservancy’s work both locally and around the globe. During the evening, The Nature Conservancy proudly celebrated community partners: Knapp/Swezey Foundation, Sang Lee Farms and Stuart's Seafood Market.

“As owners of Stuart’s Seafood Market, our livelihood depends on the health of the ocean, and as citizens of the world, our lives depend on it too. Bruce and I run Stuart’s with dedication and appreciation for everything we get from the land and sea, and all the work necessary to keep our planet blue and green for generations to come,” said Charlotte Sasso. “Thank you to everyone at the Nature Conservancy for the vital work they do every day and thank you all for supporting that effort tonight. Bruce and I are honored to be sharing community partner recognition this evening.”

“Our mission at Sang Lee Farms has always been to grow the best food for our neighbors and community – as well as stewardship of our earth. It is about enhancing soil health, maintaining water quality of our aquifer, and providing healthy resources for future generations,” said Karen Lee. “This responsibility has become our passion and our commitment to organic methods so that our staff, our customers, our east end farm land and waters can benefit from what we do and how we do it.”

“As a longtime and very generous supporter of The Nature Conservancy, the Knapp Swezey Foundation has enabled the Conservancy to literally get its feet wet,” explained Nancy Kelley, director of The Nature Conservancy on Long Island. “Their philanthropy got us started on our long-term work to restore Long Island’s water quality, the biggest conservation issue facing Long Islanders at this time.”

The Summer Benefit raised funds for The Nature Conservancy’s work to protect, maintain and restore our bays, harbors, fisheries, wetlands and forests – so that people and nature can thrive. The organization celebrated passage of new regulations to stop New York’s diamondback terrapin turtles from drowning in crab traps; securing millions in public funding to improve water quality across Long Island; and stepping up efforts to preserve 800-acre Plum Island, to name a few recent accomplishments.

Guests also viewed the new exhibit in the Donald J. Bruckmann Library-- “Nature’s Faces and Places,” a photographic exhibit of people in nature on Long Island, curated by local photographer, Anthony Graziano.

For more information and photos, visit


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 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Victoria O'Neill
Media Relations Coordinator
(212) 524-8050


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