Ousted baykeeper launches new group to protect L.I. water

Former baykeeper Kevin McAllister at the wheel on the water. (Credit: Courtesy photo)
Former baykeeper Kevin McAllister at the wheel on the water. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

After he was ousted from the Peconic Baykeeper program in March, ex-president Kevin McAllister now has his own group devoted to protecting Long Island waters.

Following a 16-year run with the advocacy group, Mr. McAllister founded Defend H2O last month with former East End business owner Skip Tollefsen and environmental consultant Mike Bottini. 

Defend H2O will address similar issues handled by Peconic Baykeeper, such as restoring and protecting the environmental quality of groundwater and surface waters on and around Long Island, Mr. McAllister wrote in a statement.

He said his primary goals for the group include reforming sewage management, enacting stronger water quality standards and halting the use of the pesticide Methoprene for mosquito control.

“We have an ambitious agenda, but we have the knowledge, experience, and with strong support will be successful with our initiatives,” Mr. McAllister said. “From public awareness, analysis, patrol and participation in the legislative and legal process at all levels, Defend H2O will be a tireless advocate for clean water.”

The group’s key roles will be in educating the public and participating in government decision-making processes, he said.

In March, Mr. McAllister told a Suffolk Times reporter he was fired from his position at Peconic Baykeeper due to “allegations of improper behavior with another employee” and “allegations of alcohol use.”

He said those claims had never been fully investigated.

A representative from the Baykeeper group did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Defend H2O.

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