Written by Patricia Aitken, email@example.com Friday, 15 February 2013 00:00
This is my last How’s The Water column as executive director of Friends of the Bay. When I walked into Friends of the Bay to be interviewed eight years ago by Kyle Rabin, I knew I cared about the community and the environment, but had little idea of the issues that Friends of the Bay was involved in. I didn’t know about dissolved oxygen, hypoxia, Pathogen TMDLs, nutrient loading, etc. Nor did I realize how complex watershed management issues, or fisheries management issues are, and how something that is seemingly simple to resolve, is not. It was a learning curve, to be sure.
From day one, I felt embraced and welcomed. Oyster Bay and the surrounding communities, Bayville, Cold Spring Harbor and the many incorporated villages are very special places. People choose to live in these communities, which are not always easy to get to, and expensive to live in, because they have a love for the water and the environment. My colleagues in the different agencies, the Department of Environmental Conservation, Environmental Protection Agency (Paula Zevin of the EPA, who worked with me to develop our Quality Assurance Project Plan for the water quality monitoring program deserves a halo for her patience), United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, the Town of Oyster Bay and Town of Huntington were all supportive and helpful. There are so many people working for the betterment of the community, members of the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary, other nonprofit organizations. I simply can’t imagine what it would be like without their energy and commitment.
The citizen scientists who came out do to weekly water quality monitoring deserve the thanks of the community for all their hard work. To have a water quality monitoring program run from the late 1990s is an incredible achievement. It was one of the proudest moments of my career when their work and dedication was recognized with an Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 Environmental Quality Award.
Writing this column was one of the most enjoyable parts of my job as Executive Director. To write it, I had to stop and reflect, think, about what was going on both in the wider environmental world, and what was occurring in our own harbor and watershed. So many times, what was going on here was a microcosm of the world. Plastic pollution, for example, is a blight upon the landscape and the world’s oceans, and in Oyster Bay we find so many plastic water bottles, plastic bags, that are carelessly tossed out, to make their way into the water.
And so, it comes back to the water. People may not always have agreed with actions Friends of the Bay took, or the positions taken by the organization on controversial issues, but I think it is safe to say, that without Friends of the Bay our harbor waters would not be as clean. There would not be a Watershed Action Plan, to draw together the agencies, other environmental organizations, municipalities and citizens to protect our watershed area. I look forward to watching Friends of the Bay continue to move forward, to implement the Watershed Action Plan, and continue to serve as an advocate for the water.
For me personally, my sincere thanks and appreciation. It’s a privilege to have been able to work with so many wonderful, dedicated people. The very best to you all in the future!
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
Dodds and Eder will be hosting a wine and cheese reception on Saturday, May 18 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at their Sag Harbor location to showcase the work of Plein Air Peconic, an artist group dedicated to helping the Peconic Land Trust conserve the natural beauty of the East End. The reception will showcase “At Home in the Natural World” an exhibition and sale of landscape paintings and photographs. The exhibition is on view at Dodds and Eder, which is open Thursday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Many of the paintings and photographs in the show are larger works composed in the studio from field studies of preserved sites. By painting and photographing images of conserved land and other spaces of the East End, the artists call attention to what has already been accomplished by land conservation and the continuing need to protect these vital resources from unchecked development.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
A large crowd of almost 100 people gathered at 95 Shore Road in Cold Spring Harbor on Saturday, April 27 to celebrate the completion of the environmental clean up at the former Exxon Mobil site. The 8-acre waterfront parcel, where the oil tanks once stood, was donated to the North Shore Land Alliance for conservation purposes.
On a sunny picture-perfect spring afternoon, Land Alliance officers and staff were joined by elected officials, including State Senator Carl Marcellino, Huntington Town Councilmen Mark Cuthbertson and Mark Mayoka, Heather Amster, Region 1, New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and community members to thank ExxonMobil for this valuable gift.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, more than five million Americans are suffering with Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
Troubled by these statistics and personally affected, Long Islander and NBA draftee Gordon Thomas founded the Alzheimer’s All-Star Basketball Classic Committee, a group of professionals dedicated to raising awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
Ronald Caronia, MD, a glaucoma and cataract surgeon and partner of Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island (OCLI) with Tom Burke, CEO of OCLI, participated in the first annual American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Foundation’s “Run for Sight” 5K and 1-mile walk during the ASCRS/ASOA Annual Symposium and Congress in San Francisco. Dr. Caronia hails from Oyster Bay Cove and Mr. Burke is a resident of Islip.
The ASCRS partnered with TearLabs to host this first-ever “Run for Sight” event. It took place on Sunday, April 21 near the beautiful Japanese botanical gardens in Golden Gate Park. The event raised close to $25,000. All proceeds from the race will benefit the ASCRS Foundation’s cataract blindness treatment efforts.