With final build-out of Long Island expected before 2025, there remains
a call to action to preserve whatever open space and farmland Long Island wants to save. The Society and other environmental groups have identified some 25,000 acres of open space and 10,000 acres of farmland in need of protection.
Land not preserved soon will be lost forever to development. In addition to the adverse environmental and quality-of-life implications, failure to preserve this important land would undercut Long Island's number one industry, tourism, worth $4.3 billion.
It would destroy the viability of New York State's top agriculture-producing
county and have devastating impacts on taxes needed for government services if this land were developed.
The Society is working with government at all levels to continue Long Island's historic commitment to land preservation and will support private efforts at preservation.
Open Space in the Pine Barrens that has been
At Long Last: A PLAN TO SAVE
THE CARMANS RIVER
Nearly three years after
environmentalists began creating a blueprint to protect the Carmans
River in the Pine Barrens of Brookhaven, the Town Board there has
approved a plan for the watershed. On October 15, 2013 the
"Carmans River Conservation & Management Plan" was adopted by the
Brookhaven Town Board. The strategy involved adding 3,845 acres to
the protected Pine Barrens - 1,660 to the Core Preservation Area where
development is prohibited and 2,185 acres to the Compatible Growth Area
where development can occur under prescribed circumstances. The
annexation of new land was approved by the New York State Legislature
and signed into law, August, 2013 by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The plan, advanced by Brookhaven
Supervisor Ed Romaine, is a substitute for a plan proposed by former
Supervisor Mark Lesko. The plan calls for acquisition of land near
the banks of the ten mile-long river, which run from Middle Island to
the Great South Bay at Shirley. A key component of the plan is the
creation of a "Performance Committee," to assure that protection target
are met and water quality improvement is obtained.
The Pine Barrens Society refused to
accept defeat of the earlier plan and continues to work closely with the
new administration to reduce contamination by nitrogen-loaded
groundwater, produces mostly by cesspools, septic systems and by
pesticides and fertilizers used for agriculture, lawn and plant
maintenance. Limiting development in the watershed will reduce
this contamination to maintain the health of the river's waters.
The Carmans River flows through the Pine Barrens
in Brookhaven Town, through Southaven County Park and the Wertheim
National Wildlife Refuge to Bellport Bay. (photo credit: Marty Van