Environmental coalition pushing Southold on water quality issues

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Kimogener Point on the Bay off New Suffolk Avenue.
Kimogener Point on Peconic Bay, off New Suffolk Avenue. (Credit: Barbarellen Koch, file)

A local water quality action group is urging Southold Town officials to take steps aimed at keeping the North Fork’s watersheds healthy.

Next week, members of the North Fork Clean Water Action Group — an environmental coalition formed by Group for the East End — will meet with Town Board members to recommend ways the town could help on water quality efforts.

Recommendations will include establishing a town water quality advisory committee, creating a Watershed Protection Improvement District and adopting a townwide wastewater management plan, according to a press release from the group.

Related: Push is on to pass sweeping water quality law for Long Island

“The broader goal is to have all five East End towns consider similar clean water action efforts and create a comprehensive East End water quality initiative for the region,” said Bill Toedter, president of the North Fork Environmental Council. “East Hampton is already moving in this direction with the development of a townwide wastewater management plan and it’s important that all the pieces fit together.”

Formed in 2012, the North Fork Clean Water Action Group seeks to address Long Island’s water crisis on the local level.

The action group is bringing its recommendations to East End town halls as many local, county and state leaders have begun to focus attention on the need for water quality improvements across the region, the statement read.

Locally, the North Fork’s groundwater has some of the highest recorded levels of nitrogen compounds in the county, compounds that can significantly impact human and environmental health, according to the group’s data.

“Based on this assessment, it’s very clear that we need strong local organization and leadership to achieve the goals and attract the resources associated with any state or regional clean water action plan that is being considered for Long Island,” said Bob DeLuca, president of the Group for the East End president. “The importance of local insight, expertise, organization and commitment will be invaluable in setting and reaching clean water priorities that truly reflect the needs of our community.”

Group members will meet with the Southold Town Board during a public work session on Tuesday, April 22 at 9 a.m. in Town Hall.

Scroll down to view the Southold Town Board’s full agenda.

Southold Town Board April 22, 2014 Agenda