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Save The Great South Bay Podcast
13 minutes | Jan 17, 2020
STGSB Podcast Episode 6: Sewer Czar
Suffolk County and New York State recognize the pressing need to address significant nitrogen levels in our local waterways and groundwater caused in part by underground septic tanks. On this episode of Water Matters, Marshall Brown talks with Peter Scully, sewer czar of Suffolk County, on the issue of septic tanks on Long Island, the damage they do to our creeks and bay, and what the County is doing over the coming years to replace over 200,000 septics with sewering and on site sewering replacements. It's an enormous task but one which we must take on. https://savethegreatsouthbay.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Save-The-Great-South-Bay-Septic-Tanks-01-17-2020-Episode-6.mp3
74 minutes | Dec 17, 2019
STGSB Podcast Episode 5: Methoprene & Emerging Contaminants
Emerging contaminants, such as 1,4-dioxane, were a hot topic in 2019 and sure to continue to be well into the future. Learn more about them as well as the toxic effects of methoprene, the mosquito pesticide, on our marshlands in this Save The Great South Bay Speaker Series conversation moderated by Marshall Brown. Kevin McAllister, founder and president of Defend H2O, speaks about methoprene and our marshlands, while Michael Beckerich, CEO of York Analytical Laboratories, a NYC-based environmental testing lab, discusses emerging contaminants, such as 1,4 dioxane and PFAS/PFOAs -- what it takes to detect them and what dangers they pose. Rounding out the panel are Dorian Dale, Suffolk County Sustainability Director and Frank Piccininni of SMPIL Consulting.
10 minutes | Dec 17, 2019
STGSB Podcast Episode 4: Native Planting with Matt Gettinger
Go native! In this episode of Water Matters, we are joined by Matt Gettinger of Long Island Natives. As one of the most comprehensive native plant producers in New York, LI Natives is dedicated to growing a wide variety of native species representing the local flora of the northeastern United States. LI Natives specializes in growing trees for use in conservation efforts for parks, municipalities and native gardeners. Most of their plants are ideal for local habitat restoration and revegetation projects. The nursery uses local seed sources wherever possible to produce plants that are genetically adaptable to our local climate. https://savethegreatsouthbay.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Save-The-Great-South-Bay-LI-Natives-12-23-2019-Episode-5.mp3
75 minutes | Dec 16, 2019
STGSB Podcast Episode 3: Shellfish and the Revitalization of the Great South Bay
If one oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day, how would one billion oysters affect water quality? Listen in as our distinguished panel discusses the economic and environmental potential of returning shellfish to the Bay during our Speaker Series entitled "Shellfish and the Revitalization of the Great South Bay". Panelists Pete Malinowski of the Billion Oyster Project, Chuck Westfall, President of LI Oyster Growers, Martin Byrnes, Town of Islip Waterways Management, and Thomas Schultz, President of Friends of Bellport Bay graciously share their experience and answer our audience questions in this hour-long episode. To the Bay! https://savethegreatsouthbay.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Save-The-Great-South-Bay-Shellfish-and-Revitalization-GSB-12-16-2019-Episode-3.mp3
17 minutes | Dec 6, 2019
STGSB Podcast Episode 2: The Challenges of Sustainable Development
Commercial developers and environmentalists may not seem likely bedfellows but surprisingly there is much common ground when it comes to sustainable development. Listen in to our recent conversation with real estate developer Anthony Bartone of Terwilliger & Bartone Properties and Charles Bevington, President of the Sierra Club of Long Island, as part of Stony Brook's WUSB radio environmental marathon. https://savethegreatsouthbay.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Save-The-Great-South-Bay-Sustainable-Development-12-06-2019-Episode-2.mp3
6 minutes | Nov 18, 2019
STGSB Podcast Episode 1: Water Quality Task Force
Listen to Episode 1 of the podcast featuring Frank Piccininni speaking to the Assembly Minority Conference's Water Quality Task Force about funding and native plantings.
0 minutes | Aug 19, 2018
Sayville Creek Defenders — Braving The Elements
On Saturday, August 4th, the Sayville Creek Defenders, culled mostly from the membership of The Greater Sayville Civic Association, as led by James Bertsch and Christine Sarni, The Sayville Historical Society, The Sayville Garden Club, The Village Improvement Society (VIS), and Save The Great South Bay, were out in force to run a clean up along Greenes Creek in Sayville. 50 took part. The Sayville Creek Defenders - Courtesy Spelman Studios Here's a closer look at some of the plucky souls who came out to help. Photographs courtesy Spelman Studios. Here is a zoomable map of the creek and the surrounding homes and businesses: One of the seven precincts was to explore Greene's Creek by kayak, entering from The Great South Bay. We launched just as the storm hit: As it happened, being caught in a torrential downpour yielded dividends. It was obvious where a lot of the problems in Greene's Creek are coming from -- runoff from lawns and failing cesspools. https://savethegreatsouthbay.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/IMG_0614-1.mp4 Getting from Greene's Creek back into the bay and then to our launching area was more than a bit tricky the way the storm stirred up the surf, but we did it! The other six squads, further up the creek, removed a great deal of trash, and like us of course were soaked to the skin, but happy. We rounded out the day with a long confab at Kingston's Clam Bar and planned our next actions. All in all, the conclusion we came away with is this -- Greenes Creek will only ever become healthy when the surrounding properties, roads, and outfall pipes are no longer dumping polluted water into it. Failing cesspools not only contribute excess nitrogen, but also fecal coliform bacteria, and lots of it. We can all do our part today when it comes to lawn fertilizer and pesticides. We can petition The Town of Islip and Suffolk County to address the outfall pipe / runoff issue. We can choose to plant "Bay Friendly Yards." At the end of the day, though, we must find a way to economically replace these failed cesspools / septic tanks if the bay is to ever come back.
0 minutes | Aug 14, 2018
Water Quality in The Great South Bay
The Great South Bay’s main issue is water quality. What’s polluting it? Scientists claim that 69% of the excess nitrogen in the bay is from septic systems, but then there is also runoff to consider -- from lawns and roads, through storm drains and outfall pipes. This is no more apparent than when there’s a heavy rain. https://savethegreatsouthbay.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/IMG_0614.mp4 How Heavy Rainfall Affects the Great South Bay Anyone living on The South Shore these days will tell you that after a heavy rainfall, the bay suffers, and local beaches close. Between the failing low lying septic tanks and the animal waste, the fecal coliform counts quickly exceed safe levels. Along many of our creeks, the stench is obvious. Throw in pesticides and fertilizer from our lawns, and grease, oil, and trash from our roadways, and that adds up to quite a toxic stew for the bay. The nitrogen from the septics, the road runoff (atmospheric deposition) and lawn fertilizer (an outmoded and destructive practice, in our view) all contribute to our brown tide issue. [pic] A Lost Legacy? The first major brown tide hit The Great South Bay in 1985, effectively ending large scale clamming on the bay. Since then the brown tides have grown longer and more intense, generally, and with each year the prospect of saving this bay dims. The amount of pollution running into the bay from surface water and groundwater day by day, and after a good rain, contributes to the bay’s ongoing deterioration. For those who fish or sail, for our oyster farmers, for all those who remember what was, this are difficult times. Beach Closures This Year in the Great South Bay We’ve seen shellfish beds and beaches across Long Island closed regularly because of poor water quality, especially after a heavy rain. On August 8th, The Suffolk County Department of Health and Services issued an advisory against swimming in 35 beaches on the Great South Bay including Venetian Shores Beach, West Islip Beach, Islip Beach, East Islip Beach, West Oaks Recreation Club Beach, Brightwaters Village Beach, and Bayberry Beach & Tennis Club. On July 26th an advisory against swimming was issued in 73 beaches across Long Island after excessive rainfall. On July 18th, the Suffolk County Government Health Officials issued an advisory bathing warning for 63 beaches, including some on the Great South Bay. In each case, people were warned about the dangers of touching this bateria laden water, that it would take two tidal cycles to flush out. Improving Water Quality in The Great South Bay Other than replacing our cesspools and septic tanks via sewering or modern onsite systems -- an enormous and necessary project -- there are things we can do as people and as communities to improve the bay’s water quality. Save The Great South Bay, through its Creek Defender Program [link] champions the restoration of native habitat along the 42 creeks that feed the bay. Filter the water with trees, bushes, shrubs and grasses, and the water entering the creeks is that much healthier. The bay is a symptom. It’s the mainland that’s sick. Our solution? Go native! Save The Great South Bay also promotes ‘Bay Friendly Yards.’ What if you could restore habitat and filter the groundwater via native plantings right at home? What if your yard didn’t need any fertilizer, pesticides, or extra water because you were planting what should be there in the first place? If we planted on our properties what belongs there, our local environment -- and the bay -- benefits. Finally, Save The Great South Bay is a major advocate for the expansion of shellfishing industry. In 1976, the clams in The Great South Bay filtered 40% of the bay water every day. We need to now expand our oyster farming, in part to cure the bay. An oyster filters many times more water per day than a clam. In addition,
0 minutes | Jul 4, 2018
A Trip To Blue Island Oyster Farm
While Blue Island Oysters has its hatchery in West Sayville, its oyster farm is off Captree. And last Friday was my day to visit. Captree In 2000, Chris Quartuccio acquired a former bait shack and the lease for a surrounding six acres, and Blue Island Oysters was born. Chris chose the location for its proximity to The Fire Island Inlet, where the water would be cleanest. Blue Island Oysters Here we are arriving to dock. https://savethegreatsouthbay.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/IMG_0004.mp4 Here we were greeted most effusively by Bowsun, The Hungarian Vizsla. Bowsun The Hungarian Vizsla Bowsun would be taking the tour with us. Blue Island Oysters offers regular tours of its farm for parties of fourteen, public and private. It is at once a communing with nature, an educational seminar, and a feast of oysters. One is encouraged to bring one's own champagne, craft beer, or wine. I preferred to wash mine down with Drink The Bay Clean. I'd say an American Pale Ale was a good choice here! But that came later.; First was a presentation about the farm itself. Chris showed us how these tiny baby oysters, fed on a variety of algae, grow to dime size, where they can be placed in oyster bags in the bay. The oysters are then periodically checked for growth, and tumbled so that they grow thick and meaty rather than thin and long. https://savethegreatsouthbay.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/IMG_0026.mp4 https://savethegreatsouthbay.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/IMG_0027.mp4 A fascinating process, and clearly A LOT of work! Next up was a kayak tour of the salt marshes. Just stunningly beautiful. About half of the 14 were coming out from Brooklyn. How wonderful it must have been for them in particular to experience this! https://savethegreatsouthbay.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/IMG_0039.mp4 From there we bid a fond farewell to the farm and Bowsun. It was a magical day! Thank you Blue Island for having me as your guest!
1 minutes | Nov 26, 2017
By The Rivers Of Babylon
On Earth Day, April 22nd, Save The Great South Bay launched The Creek Defender Program in Babylon on Carll's River. Working with The Village: The Village of Babylon Babylon High School and the Elementary School, the PTA and the parents, Staging the Clean Up as well as with South Shore Paddle Boards and their tribe, 80 volunteers worked in eight groups of ten to remove trash from in and around Carl's River, from North Babylon to where the river enters the bay. The amount of trash we were able to remove in just our four hours was just astounding: This is trash that now will not pollute the bay. The problem with Carll's River can be multiplied by 42 -- the number of rivers and creeks that flow into The Great South Bay. We can't heal the bay unless we heal those waters that feed the bay, and right now, our creeks are suffering from a number of ills: Road Runoff. There are an estimated 2000 outfall pipes in Suffolk County, in various states of disrepair. How many are dumping into our creeks? Fertilizers, pesticides, road runoff? The first thing we need to do as Creek Defenders, as local stewards of the waters that flow through our communities, from Lindenhurst to Bellport, is to survey and document. Where are these pipes emptying in? Can we get water samples? The point here is, with our 12,000 members, with such strong representation in every community, we can put our local community environmental issues front and center. Lawn Runoff. How are people who live within a creek's watershed managing their lawns? Given the enormous nitrogen pollution problems all our bays face from the 500,000 cesspools and septic tanks leaching into Long Island's sandy soil, the last thing we really need is yet more nitrogen coming in from chemical lawn fertilizers. If we are spending billions to get the nitrogen out, we shouldn't be at the same time adding to the problem. The Creek Defender Program advocates "Bay Friendly Yard Care." No chemical fertilizers. Mulch your clippings to feed your lawn. Native plantings, no pesticides. Aquifer Depletion. We are literally running our ponds and creeks dry. We need to stop watering our lawns as though they were rain forests. We live on a sole source aquifer, and we are draining it. That's our children's drinking water we are wasting in search of some outmoded idea of a perfect lawn. We invented the suburban lawn. We need to reinvent it, but this time by working with nature, not dumping millions of pounds of pesticides every year, not by bringing in plant species that have no business being here, not by draining away too much of what the glaciers left us. Let Long Island be Long Island. It is naturally beautiful. We messed with it. We can fix it. In order to support our local Creek Defenders, Save The Great South Bay has created interactive maps of every creek on The South Shore. Here is Carll's River: Using this interactive map, you can zoom right down to a particular property lot, and attach photos, data, as a registered user. There is even a smart phone app that goes with it, so that as people survey a creek for, say, sunken boats, car tires, shopping carts, collapsing bulkheads, failing pipes, illegal dumping, or signs of alewife, fresh water clams, ribbed mussels, etc, all this could be put onto the map for the creek in real time. As an organization, it is our goal to have a Creek Defender for every community. Todd Shaw, of Babylon Village, and one of our Directors, is The Creek Defender for Babylon. Todd Brice of Amityville, marina owner, and Founder of The Great South Bay Society, is The Creek Defender there. He has been running cleanups on the marsh islands now for eleven years. As we launch programs in Lindenhurst, Oakdale, Sayville, Bayport, and Patchogue, and hopefully elsewhere, we are grateful for his leadership. Using the local marinas along the bay as bases of op...
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