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Coastal Waterways and the Stormwater Issue

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by Michael Cafaro

I was in attendance at this year’s Stormwater Treatment Technology Workshop held at Bethpage State Park’s Carlyle on the Green, on October 25, 2006. Incredibly informative, it was of great assistance to me as I begin my tenure dealing with coastal conservation efforts.

There was an impressive array of speakers at the workshop. From Dr. Thomas Ballestero of the University of New Hampshire to Rob Weltner, SPLASH President and winner of the South Shore Estuary Reserve’s Stewardship Award for 2006, all spelled out the necessity for a renewed emphasis on protecting the bays and rivers of Long Island.

I left my former position as Political Chair, a position I’ve held for nearly five years, in early October. My new gig with the Sierra Club, Coastal Waterways Chair, is something that I’ve been dying to do for ages. Actually, I’ve been the Sierra Club’s delegate to the South Shore Estuary Reserve’s Citizen’s Advisory committee even longer than I was Political Chair, so this is really nothing new for me.

We are an island community, and it behooves each and every one of us to become more engaged in the process of protecting the oceanic and estuarine ecosystems that set us apart from other regions in this nation (and State). If, as environmental activists, we do not set coastal waterways as one of our major priorities, then we cannot complain as we witness their further degradation.

Anyone interested in joining my committee, please call me at (631) 243-1127.

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