11/09/14 8:00am
11/09/2014 8:00 AM
Paul Stoutenburgh was honored on Saturday during a memorial service titled 'Focus on Paul.' (Cyndi Murray photo)

Paul Stoutenburgh was honored on Saturday during a memorial service titled ‘Focus on Paul.’ (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Paul Stoutenburgh wore lots of hats.

Perhaps best known for his work pioneering conservationism on the North Fork, the celebrated environmentalist most valued his role as a husband, father and friend, his son, Roger Stoutenburgh, said during a memorial service held for his father Saturday.    (more…)

07/17/14 3:00pm
07/17/2014 3:00 PM
Paul Stoutenburgh once wrote in his 'Focus on Nature' column that standing beneath the Great Arches of Utah made him feel 'humble and proud of this great country of ours.'

Paul Stoutenburgh once wrote in his ‘Focus on Nature’ column that standing beneath the Great Arches of Utah made him feel ‘humble and proud of this great country of ours.’

For those who never visited the East End of Long Island half a century ago, imagine two arms of verdant rolling hills jutting into the Atlantic, embracing islands, inlets and marshes teeming with crabs, clams, fish and birds. At least that’s the East End local wildlife expert Paul Stoutenburgh described when he began writing his weekly newspaper column, “Focus on Nature,” for The Suffolk Times and Riverhead News-Review.  (more…)

07/14/14 2:28pm
07/14/2014 2:28 PM
Paul and Barbara Stoutenburgh being interviewed in their Cutchogue home in 2011. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Paul and Barbara Stoutenburgh being interviewed in their Cutchogue home in 2011. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

When Paul Stoutenburgh was a boy roaming the fields of Cutchogue and fishing in its creeks, it would have been impossible to imagine the impact he’d one day have on the region’s precious natural resources.

But given the gift of hindsight last year, at a ceremony renaming Arshamomaque Pond Preserve in Mr. Stoutenburgh’s honor, county Legislator Al Krupski did his part to put it in perspective.

“He helped change the culture of the town,” Mr. Krupski said of the longtime environmentalist. “He really had a vision of the town going into the future.”

Mr. Stoutenburgh, a longtime Cutchogue resident, died at his home Sunday surrounded by family members. He was 92.

(more…)

06/14/13 10:05am
06/14/2013 10:05 AM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Town Supervisor Scott Russell presented Barbara Stoutenburgh with a plaque during the ceremony.

In honor of a lifelong commitment to environmental conservation, the 120-acre Arshamomaque Pond Preserve in Southold was officially re-named the Paul Stoutenburgh Preserve Thursday.

In room full of friends and elected officials, Mr. Stoutenburgh’s family received a plaque immortalizing Mr. Stoutenburgh’s dedication to the environment. Mr. Stoutenburgh, 91, was unable to attend.

“He taught me to appreciate nature and to give back to a community,” Mr. Stoutenburgh’s grandson, also named Paul Stoutenburgh, said. “This preserve means a lot to all of us.”

Mr. Stoutenburgh, a Cutchogue resident, wrote the popular weekly column “Focus on Nature” for The Suffolk Times for 50 years. A dedicated public servant, he served three terms as a Southold Town Trustee, including one year as board president, and four years as a town councilman championing environmental causes.

“He helped changed the culture of the town,” County Legislator Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue) said. “He really had a vision of the town going into the future.”

Mr. Stoutenburgh and his wife, Barbara, are largely responsible for getting Southold Town to adopt its first wetlands code and preventing development of the type that has taken over much of Long Island. In 2011, the couple was named The Suffolk Times People of the Year for their efforts.

During the ceremony Barbara Stoutenburgh spoke about the man behind the causes and read aloud one of her husband’s poems entitled “Looking Back.”

“I know where the largest rock on the island lies and how the warm sandy beach was formed,” he wrote. “I have seen the wonders of a boy and a girl and then another boy… and so with it that a sense of place was found and I a part of it.”

06/05/13 10:58am
06/05/2013 10:58 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Paul Stoutenburgh, left, with his wife Barbara, being interviewed in their Cutchogue home in 2011.

In recognition of a lifelong commitment to environmental causes, the 120-acre Arshamomaque Pond Preserve in Southold will officially become the Paul Stoutenburgh Preserve on Thursday, June 13.

Mr. Stoutenburgh dedicated much of his life fighting to prevent development of the type that has taken over much of Long Island.

“People here can enjoy the natural world around us because of Mr. Stoutenburgh,” Supervisor Scott Russell said. “This recognition is long overdue.”

Mr. Stoutenburgh and wife, Barbara, were instrumental in getting Southold to adopt its first wetlands code. The Suffolk Times named the couple its “People of the Year” in 2011.

Mr. Stoutenburgh, a Cutchogue resident, wrote the popular weekly column “Focus on Nature” for The Suffolk Times for 50 years. A dedicated public servant, he served three terms as a Southold Town Trustee, including one year as board president, and four years as a town councilman championing environmental causes.

The renaming ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. at the preserve, located on the north side of Route 25 in Southold, just east of Port of Egypt Marina. The preserve entrance is just before the bridge. Parking is available on the south side of Route 25 along Old Main Road.

In case of rain the ceremony will be held at Southold Town Hall.

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03/02/13 1:00pm
03/02/2013 1:00 PM

GIANNA VOLPE FILE PHOTO | An aerial view of Rabbit Lane in East Marion following Hurricane Sandy.

Southold Town is considering signing a pledge to become a “Climate Smart Community,” a program sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Conservation that helps towns reduce carbon emissions, protect shorelines and provide flood insurance rate reductions for residents.

David Bert of Cameron Engineering was hired by the State Energy Research and Development Authority to help towns implement the program.

He told the Town Board at Tuesday’s work session that the state is making $30 million available to municipalities in each of the next three years to help combat climate change.

“There’s certainly more emphasis coming out of Albany on that these days,” Mr. Bert said, referring to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s strong stance on fighting climate change.

Mr. Bert said the competitive grant program will likely begin this summer and communities that sign on to the pledge will receive more points toward their grant applications.

In the pledge, the town would agree to prepare a climate action plan, which Cameron Engineering could help the town develop at NYSERDA’s expense. The firm also provides mapping assistance.

Program organizers are planning a workshop on alternative fuels for municipal vehicle fleets on the East End on April 25, which will include a discussion of potential charging and fueling stations.

One of the ancillary benefits of signing the pledge, Mr. Bert said, is that it enables the town to qualify for the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating Program, which can help property owners get discounts ranging from 5 to 45 percent.

“There are a few municipalities on the island that do participate,” he said, adding that some of Southold’s public awareness programs and new building codes already in place would make residents eligible for discounts.

“It’s quite a process, but it’s useful,” he said.

PRESERVE NAMED FOR STOUTENBURGH

Also on Tuesday, board members approved renaming Arshamomaque Pond Preserve on Route 25 in Southold as the Paul Stoutenburgh Preserve, after the longtime North Fork environmentalist.

After learning of the honor, Mr. Stoutenburgh and his wife, Barbara, suggested the following wording for a plaque to be placed on a rock at the entrance to the park:

“With knowledge and the will to do what’s right, our world will blossom and keep on returning to us the delicate fragrance of May pinks in the woods, a spring run of flounder for dinner and ospreys to delight our heart and spirit.”

A public ribbon-cutting will be scheduled for this spring.

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10/04/12 12:00pm
10/04/2012 12:00 PM

BETH YOUNG PHOTO | Filmmaker Paul Stoutenburgh (from left) with students Thomas Spackman, Alex Mautarelli, Eddie Ward, Ella Watts-Gorman and Claire O’Kane at Friday’s film festival at Floyd Memorial Library in Greenport.

A group of teenage students from the North Fork spent this past summer on a quest to create documentaries showcasing the area’s natural places and the threats they face.

Filmmaker Paul Stoutenburgh, grandson of the longtime Suffolk Times environmental columnist of the same name, led the program in conjunction with North Fork Audubon.

The films, which covered topics from piping plovers to plastic bags in the environment to the beauty of nature preserves, premiered at a film festival at Floyd Memorial Library on Sept. 28.

Mr. Stoutenburgh said he was excited by the collaborative talents of young filmmakers Claire O’Kane and Ella Watts-Gorman of McGann-Mercy High School, Thomas Spackman of Greenport High School, Eddie Ward of Southold High School and Alex Mautarelli of Mattituck High School, who were all on hand at the festival to talk about their works.

The students shot with a variety of cameras, from small Handycam hand-held cameras to GoPro underwater cameras, using stop-motion and animations in addition to on-location shoots at beaches and nature preserves all over the North Fork. They also became familiar with several different types of video editing software.

“That is the painstaking part,” Eddie Ward said.

Producing the video “Protecting our Piping Plovers” was also a painstaking process. The students needed to remain still, sometimes for hours on end, waiting for the small shorebirds to overcome their fear and show themselves in their nesting areas.

“It literally took hours, just sitting and waiting,” said Eddie. “People sometimes step on their eggs, not on purpose, but because they’re just so small.”

Another film, “Protecting Our Water Quality,” included underwater camera work at Cedar Beach in Southold and at Goldsmith Inlet in Peconic and interviews with environmentalists about what can be done to ensure the North Fork’s access to clean water.

A third video, “The Plastic Baginators,” chronicled the students’ attempts to rid the beaches of plastic bags, and their starting a petition on change.org and working with environmental groups to ask Southold Town to consider banning plastic bags.

“From the little town of Southold to the United States of America, we can surely make a difference,” said Ella.

The proposal to ban plastic bags was first floated by members of North Fork Audubon earlier this year and the Audubon group will screen a film called “Bag It” at Mattituck-Laurel Library on Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. to help explain the dangers plastic bags pose to the marine environment.

“It’s a life-changing movie,” said Debra O’Kane, North Fork Audubon’s educational director, who attended the screening with her filmmaker daughter Claire. “We can start somewhere. The Village of Greenport would be a great place. We’re surrounded by water.”

Alex Mautarelli worked one-on-one with Mr. Stoutenburgh on two movies. The first, “A Bird’s Paradise,” was shot at North Fork Audubon’s headquarters on Inlet Pond in Greenport. He filmed the second, which he wasn’t quite through editing before the film festival, at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge.

“I had great slow motion shots. They were so good, I couldn’t believe it,” said Alex, who also chronicled his misadventures with Mr. Stoutenburgh at the refuge, where they spent time in the bobcat cage and got lost on the trails.

“We thought, we can figure it out. We’re professionals,” he said.

Mr. Stoutenburgh said he would like to run the program every summer, though he might be abroad next year.

“They are some of the most creative, artistic kids I’ve seen,” he said of his students.

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