Sustainable Long Island
May 2013
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
The one-stop-shop...
For all Sustainable Long Island news! 
In This Issue
Grant Funds Long Beach Work
Farmers' Markets Set to Open
Carbon Footprint Challenge
Sustainability Simplified
Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship Breakfast
FEMA Extends Deadline
Brownfield Cleanup Program Report
Clean Water Partnership
Energy Efficiency Tips
NEWSLETTER SPONSOR

 
For more information on this month's enewsletter sponsor, Eldor Renewable Energy, CLICK HERE!

 

Board of Directors
Ruth Negrn-Gaines: President
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Kevin McDonald: Vice President

The Nature Conservancy   
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Charlotte Biblow, Esq: Secretary

Farrell Fritz, P.C.
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Lauren Furst: Treasurer   

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Russ Albanese

Albanese Organization Inc.
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Lennard Axinn

Island Estates   

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Robert Bernard

Capital One Bank 

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Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III
SUNY College at Old Westbury    

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Dr. Miriam K. Deitsch

Farmingdale State College,
State University of New York

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Pat Edwards

Citi Community Development     
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Amy Hagedorn
Hagedorn Foundation

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Jeff Kraut

North Shore - LIJ Health System

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Mitchell H. Pally

Long Island Builders Institute

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Dr. Robert Scott

Adelphi University 

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Ron Shiffman

Pratt Institute

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Sustainable Long Island Awarded $130,000 Toward Relief and Rebuilding Efforts In The City of Long Beach

Nonprofit works with the City through  

five-point collaboration plan

Sustainable Long Island announced today it has been awarded $130,000 in grant funding from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation (UUC) at Shelter Rock supporting the organization's ongoing recovery and revitalization efforts in the City of Long Beach following Superstorm Sandy. A five-point collaboration plan with the City, detailed below, aims to ensure a robust and equitable economic recovery following the storm.

 

"UUC's funding allows Sustainable Long Island to work comprehensively and holistically with every stakeholder in Long Beach on the road to recovery following Superstorm Sandy; ensuring the community is involved in every step of the process," said Sustainable Long Island Executive Director Amy Engel. "This grant is a game-changer as it enables Sustainable Long Island to continue* our efforts in Long Beach with the goal of meeting the needs of the many underserved residents throughout the community."

 

*Sustainable Long Island had been working in the City of Long Beach on a pro-bono basis since November 2012.

 

"The unprecedented community outreach initiative that Sustainable Long Island spearheaded concerning the Long Beach boardwalk rebuild was phenomenal," said Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman. "They truly are a tremendous organization and we are thrilled to continue partnering with them on projects as the City's comeback continues."

 

The City of Long Beach is looking to bolster its small business recovery and prevent closure of local businesses; preserve jobs and employment; encourage tourism; and ultimately create a more economically vibrant community for all Long Beach residents. Sustainable Long Island will move forwards its work with the City by focusing on five key areas. The five-point collaboration plan includes:

  1. Strengthening the tourist aspect of the local economy, a major revenue source for the City, through the creation of a marketing campaign in conjunction with the Local Development Corporation.
  2. Assisting the community's significant Hispanic population that was devastated by the storm to find new housing, developing new job skills to replace jobs lost and dealing with the psychological after-effects of the storm that are afflicting this underserved population.
  3. Helping businesses recover by providing technical assistance and services so as to reinvigorate the local economy.
  4. Promoting increased access to healthy foods by bringing together two underserved populations through the development of a community garden or youth-run farmers' market.
  5. Developing a Post-Disaster Economic Recovery Internship program for college students interested in post-disaster recovery environmental initiatives, community outreach, and public engagement.

Almost immediately following Superstorm Sandy, Sustainable Long Island developed a plan in conjunction with the City Manager's office to assist the City in engaging its residents and businesses owners through public participation initiatives. One of the first projects was gathering input on what a new, stronger Long Beach Boardwalk, the mainstay of its tourism revenue and the community as a whole, should look like.

 

With Sustainable Long Island's assistance and for the first time since the storm hit, the Long Beach community had their voices heard. Sustainable Long Island conducted numerous boardwalk focus groups and public meetings, along with the distribution of a boardwalk visioning surveys. Together, the meetings and surveys produced feedback and input from over 2,500 participants, all of which was incorporated as the City planned for the $44.2 million resurrection of the new boardwalk to be completed by early November.  

 

Added Engel, "Soon into the boardwalk redevelopment process, it became apparent to Sustainable Long Island that we weren't just addressing the economic, business, or tourist component of recovery. We were addressing something much more: the human component, the people component. That to us is what makes the greatest impact."

 
Farmers' Markets Near Season Open
Sustainable LI provides support to community partners operating youth-staffed markets 
Market
Spring is here and summer is around the corner, which can only mean one thing: Farmers' Markets across Long Island are readying for launch! Since 2010, Sustainable Long Island has worked closely with numerous community partner organizations and the Long Island Farm Bureau to provide technical assistance to youth-staffed farmers' markets throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

These markets, traditionally operated in underserved communities, provide jobs to local high school students in each community, promote nutrition and education to residents, contribute to a sense of place, give community members a greater choice of fresh produce and healthy food options, and help boost the local and regional economy.

See below for a tentative list of dates, times, and locations of Sustainable Long Island's partner markets. Stay tuned to Sustainable Long Island's enewsletter in the coming weeks for more updates, as well as listings of additional markets across the Island.

Flanders Farm Fresh Food Market

David W. Crohan Community Center

655 Flanders Rd.

Flanders, NY 11901

Opens Saturdays from 10AM - 2PM starting June 29 

 

Freeport Community Farmers' Market

Freeport Recreation Center

130 E. Merrick Rd.

Freeport, NY 11520

Opens Saturdays from 11AM - 4PM starting July 13 

 

Greater Bellport Community Youth Market

Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area

471 Atlantic Ave.

Bellport, NY 11713

Opens Saturdays 11AM - 4PM starting July 6 

 

New Cassel Farmers' Market

First Baptist Cathedral

212 Garden St.

Westbury, NY 11590

Opens Saturdays 11AM - 4PM starting July 13 

 

Roosevelt Community Farmers' Market

Freeport-Roosevelt Health Center

380 Nassau Rd.

Roosevelt, NY 11575

Opens Sundays 11AM - 4PM starting July 7 

 

Shiloh Community Farmers' Market

New Shiloh Baptist Church

221 Merritt Rd.

Wyandanch, NY 11798

Opens Saturdays 1PM - 4PM starting July 13 

 
New York State Pollution Prevention Institute Awards $20G to Sustainable LI 
Funds launch Carbon Footprint Challenge

Sustainable Long Island has been awarded $20,000 from the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute's (NYSP2I) Community Grants Program Committee, launching a new initiative entitled "Carbon Footprint Challenge." In partnership with North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System (North Shore-LIJ), this initiative helps health system leaders, administrators and employees better understand how health care facilities affect the environment and what they can do to reduce pollution levels.

 

"The 'Carbon Footprint Challenge' initiative is a collaborative effort that addresses pressing environmental issues, such as air and water quality as well overall pollution prevention," said Amy Engel, Executive Director, Sustainable Long Island. "The goals of this project are simple: reduce pollution, protect environmental quality, and raise awareness of the importance of this issue in the overall health care system."

 

This initiative encourages staff and employees in various North Shore-LIJ health facilities to understand their individual and collective environmental impact by establishing baseline measures of current environmental impacts, taking steps to reduce them, and tracking progress over time. Simple steps include conserving resources (energy and water), reducing waste, implementing proper disposal policies, adopting and implementing green procurement practices, and increasing recycling. These steps are examined through educational seminars known as "Lunch and Learn" sessions, survey distribution, and weekly updates, guidelines, and tips sent to participants.

 

The initiative has three primary components:

  • Education and Information Sharing: Researching best practices and developing informational materials that provide tips, techniques and successful case studies of pollution prevention strategies within the health care sector; disseminating information to North Shore-LIJ employees by distributing materials and holding in-person seminars; and sharing information with broader audiences via participating organizations networks.
  • Raising Awareness, Measuring, and Training: Utilizing existing online tools to determine carbon footprints within the health system and establishing baseline measurements for pollution levels and resource use; facilitating seminars to educate employees about impacts on pollution levels, how to track measurements over time, and steps they can take to reduce pollution; and training volunteer employees to conduct seminars and lead pollution prevention efforts.
  • Encouraging Replication: Developing guidelines and a toolkit for other health systems to follow in establishing their own similar campaigns in order to reduce and prevent pollution throughout New York State.

North Shore-LIJ provides technical support in developing educational materials and facilitates engagement of its staff and employees in the Carbon Footprint Challenge by conducting outreach, coordinating training sessions and educational seminars, and encouraging participation in improving sustainability and preventing pollution across the health care system.

 

See below for our new feature where we will be posting unique mobile apps that can help improve sustainability, lower environmental impact, and reduce your carbon footprint!  

 

Sustainability Simplified

Check out these unique mobile apps to help improve sustainability and lower environmental impact   

 

Light Bulb Finder -  A free app that enables users to identify the best energy-saving light bulbs for their household. Users can search, purchase and calculate savings of new bulbs.

 

Virtual Water - For $1.99 this app helps users to become more aware of the amount of water consumed by what we eat and drink.

 

Locavore - This free app makes it easy to find local, seasonal food. Find nearby farmers markets and farms, and discover new recipes for what's in-season.

 

All apps available in your smart phone app store!

APA Long Island Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship Breakfast

Friday, May 10, 2013, 8AM - 10AM   

On May 10th, the APA Long Island Section will hold its annual Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship Breakfast between 8:00 AM and 10 AM at Molloy College's Suffolk Center at Republic Airport. Each year, the best and brightest of Long Island's future and young planners strive for the Arthur Kunz Scholarship, which allows for the recipient to attend the annual American Planning Association Conference.

 

This year, the need for continued planning efforts was showcased when Hurricane Sandy rumbled up the eastern coast, directly hitting the region and changing the way the public perceived the role of municipal government and its planners.   

 

The region is rebuilding stronger than ever, and these young planners are carrying out the tradition that Arthur Kunz started in Suffolk County: furthering their planning education while helping Long Island once again set the national precedent in creating the balance between both regional sustainability and economic prosperity.

 

Planning is crucial to helping Long Island become resilient to the challenges that lay ahead, and the Arthur Kunz Scholarship helps ensure the best and brightest are given the tools to succeed.

 

Keynote Speaker

  • Rich Schaffer, Town of Babylon Supervisor

Long Island Planners and Sandy Recovery: Integrating GIS and Web-based Tools

 

A panel discussion moderated by:

  • James Rausse, AICP, President, NY Metro Chapter

Guest speakers include:  

  • Sean Sallie, AICP,Nassau County DPW - Planning Division
  • Dave Genaway,Town of Islip Planning Commissioner

Award of APA Scholarships to the two planners that were selected through a competitive process to attend the 2013 APA National Planning Conference:

  • Andrew Amakawa, Suffolk County
  • Alyxandra Sabatino, Town of Southold

Registration Costs: $15 students; $20 municipal, APA members, non-profits; $25 pre-registration; and $30 at the door. All net proceeds fund future scholarships, donations are welcome. Visit www.apalongisland.org to register today.

 

 

FEMA Extends Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program in New York

Checkout date extended through May 29   

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, at the request of the State of New York, has approved a 28-day extension to the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, which allows eligible survivors from Hurricane Sandy who cannot return to their homes to stay in participating hotels.

The TSA checkout date, which previously had been extended to May 1, has been extended again to May 29. FEMA will be calling applicants eligible for the new extension to notify them of the checkout date.

 

The temporary Transitional Sheltering Assistance program allows eligible Hurricane Sandy survivors whose houses have been severely damaged or destroyed to stay in a hotel for a limited time. The cost of the room is paid directly to the hotel by FEMA.

 

The extension was approved to help those applicants still eligible for the program to remain in hotels as FEMA and its state and local partners work to identify longer-term housing solutions. All TSA applicants currently staying in hotels are evaluated for continued eligibility.

 

FEMA continues to work in coordination with local, state, tribal and voluntary agency partners to assist applicants through outreach and comprehensive casework to identify and transition them to more suitable temporary or long-term housing.

 

New York Comptroller Urges Brownfield Cleanup Overhaul
Program needs to reach more sites; be more cost effective

(via Long Island Business News) - New York's comptroller has called for an overhaul of state programs for restoring thousands of abandoned and contaminated industrial and commercial sites after the state spent nearly $1 billion to clean up 408 brownfields.

 

However, half the cleanups over two decades were done at no state cost from tax credits, which were added in later versions of the cleanup program.

 

In a 33-page report released last week, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the state may incur another $3.3 billion in costs from tax credits over the next few years, while uncertainty of program extensions will probably start to deter new projects. He called for limiting or ending tax incentives while extending liability protections and streamlining regulations for developers.

 

"Thousands of contaminated sites in communities across the state continue to pose environmental and health threats and prevent economic development," DiNapoli said. "The state has an opportunity now to improve the cleanup program to encourage more remediation and redevelopment of contaminated properties, and do it in a more cost-effective manner through better targeting of program dollars."

 

Cleanup projects typically take years to finish, with developers qualifying for tax credits afterward. Key program provisions are set to expire in 2015.

 

The Department of Environmental Conservation, which administers the program, is working with stakeholders to try to improve the program "and maximize cleaning up of polluted sites across the state," spokeswoman Lisa King said. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made cleaning up communities from pollution "a central part" of his administration, she said.

The large tax credits for developers began in Gov. George Pataki's administration.

 

"In addition to the potential threat to public health and environmental quality posed by these sites, associated cleanup costs and potential liability were widely perceived as impediments to the economic revitalization of New York's cities," the report said. "Many, if not most, of New York's urban areas contain concentrations of contaminated sites."

 

The state has had three versions of cleanup plans:

 

- The Voluntary Brownfields Cleanup Program first established by the DEC in 1994 took applicants through 2003, offering limited liability protection, cleanup standards that varied with intended re-use and simpler regulatory requirements than for state Superfund sites containing hazardous waste. It cleaned up 212 sites.

 

- The Environmental Restoration Program created by the state's Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act of 1996 authorized $200 million in bonding for municipal brownfields projects. Those funds are fully committed and the program is no longer accepting applicants. It offered limited liability protection for municipalities, state indemnification for third-party liability and 75 percent of cleanup costs, later raised to 90 percent. It has cleanup up 68 sites at an average state cost of $779,176.

 

- The Brownfield Cleanup Program established in 2003 offers limited liability protection, a shorter process to identify remedies, soil cleanup based on proposed use and refundable tax credits of 10 to 22 percent of cleanup and industrial, commercial or residential redevelopment. Amendments in 2008 capped tax credits at $35 million or three times the site cleanup costs, and $45 million or six times the cleanup costs if the site is to be used for manufacturing. It has cleaned up 128 sites at an average tax credit cost of $9.4 million, with the state potentially on the hook for $3.3 billion for the 389 enrolled sites.

 

The report said the credits were initially projected to cost about $135 million annually, though in 2011 alone developers claimed $279 million.

 

"These tax credits are significantly more generous than those in neighboring states and make the BCP the most expensive cleanup program in the state," the report said.

 

Water We Going to Do?
Long Island Clean Water Partnership aims to restore and protect Long Island's water resources  

Sustainable Long Island recently attended the second annual "Water We Going to Do?" summit in Hauppauge where Long Island environmental groups - including Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Group for the East End, Long Island Pine Barrens Society, and The Nature Conservancy - launched a campaign to protect water supplies in our local aquifers, bays, creeks, and embayments that are being damaged by high levels of nitrogen, pharmaceuticals and toxic compounds. Take a look below at some of the information and water protection principals release by the Long Island Clean Water Partnership.

On Long Island, our economic prosperity, public health and safety, and quality of life rely upon a clean and sustainable supply of drinking water. Similarly, as an island blessed with bays, harbors, and beaches on every shore, the quality of our surface waters defines our outdoor experience. Without these assets, Long Island would lose its unique sense of place and a substantial portion of its economic well-being. Protection and restoration of our Long Island water resources will define our future as a community in the next decade.

 

Our quality drinking water and our surface waters share a vital connection. Our underground aquifers store our only source of fresh drinking water for the 2.8 million people living in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. These aquifers are not static; they slowly flow from high ground to low, recharged by rainfall from above and they supply the majority of fresh water entering our streams, lakes, and bays. Whatever goes into our underground aquifers will eventually reach our other water resources: the bays and harbors, lakes, ponds and streams that define our Island. The future of Long Island's water resources depends upon what's happening under our yards, parks, farm fields, roads, and downtowns.

 

All science now conclusively shows that deteriorating water quality in our underground aquifer does not bode well for our future. We are already seeing many of the negative impacts at the surface, and we know for sure that if we stay on our current trajectory things will get worse. These impacts are perhaps most dramatically represented by groundwater plumes contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOC's), which can often be traced back to specific legacy industrial sites, dry cleaners, and gas stations. But there are other serious emerging concerns as well.

 

From this information came the grassroots initiative to create The Long Island Clean Water Partnership, which released a water action for Long Island statement of ten water protection principals. They are as follows:

 

1. Reduce fertilizer loads, and require advanced treatment upgrades to sewage treatment plants and septic systems (providing at least a 50% reduction in nitrogen over conventional systems) so nitrogen pollution does not exceed 2 mg per liter for groundwater entering our bays and harbors.  

 

2. Establish an adequately funded, unified regulatory entity for Long Island's water-resources management.  

 

3. Develop and implement a comprehensive, effective, enforceable, and affordable clean-water action plan for Long Island. This plan should include enforceable regulations with measurable goals and consequences for agencies and municipalities that fail to protect water quality.  

 

4. Assess wastewater treatment performance and technological advancement. Develop a septic-system upgrade program to accelerate the deployment of advanced and decentralized treatment systems.  

 

5. Create a "State of the Aquifer" report.  

 

6. Develop public education strategies that include elected leaders and policy makers.  

 

7. Complete and implement the

LI Pesticide Use and Management Strategy.  

 

8. Create and advance a land-protection plan focused on water quality and watershed protection.  

 

9. Enact legislation for proper disposal of unwanted pharmaceuticals.  

 

10. Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) products and related practices (fertilizers, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, septic system maintenance, etc.) all affect water quality. Citizens and civic, business, academic, and non-governmental organizations must engage all levels of government to advance the education and awareness necessary to change daily behaviors. Citizens and businesses must phase out the use of HHW products and find and develop suitable alternatives.

 

If your organization would like to sign on to be part of the Long Island Clean Water Partnership in order to further these goals, please email Adrienne Esposito at aesposito@citizenscampaign.org. For more information visit www.citizenscampaign.org
Out with the Old, in with the New:
Energy Efficiency Tips for Springtime
NYSERDA offers tips for managing appliances this Spring 

In springtime, our thoughts may turn to appliances - whether it's to clean out the refrigerator or to shop for a new one. When replacing old appliances, Energy Star qualified models are always a great place to start. However, that's just the beginning.

There are other identifiers to look for to ensure purchasing the most energy-efficient appliances. Similarly, if you're ready to dispose of appliances this spring, there are actions to consider that will help make sure these inefficient products are not used again. Whether you'll be shopping for new appliances or relying on your current ones this spring, these tips from NYSERDA will help you make sustainable choices that will save energy and money, and benefit the environment.

The Old

It's always important to be mindful of proper recycling and disposal when handling old appliances. The tips below will get you started:

  • Don't keep your old appliances. Old, inefficient appliances continue to consume energy in your garage or basement, if they're plugged in.
  • Contact your electric utility to determine if a "bounty program" for old appliances is offered in your area. Some bounty programs have appliance specification requirements so be sure to confirm your appliance is acceptable.
  • If no bounty program is available, contact your municipal department of public works for information on appliance collection procedures in your area. 
The New

The Energy Star Label is a great place to start when looking to make efficient, new appliance purchases. However, the tips below will clue you in on what else to look for to assist you in making the most efficient choices possible:

  • In addition to looking at the price tag, look for the yellow EnergyGuide label on each appliance, as some models are more efficient than others. Found on many appliances, the EnergyGuide provides an energy scale to help you compare products and lists approximate annual operating costs.
  • By comparing the energy use and approximate operating costs of similar models, you'll be able to identify which model is most efficient. 
Manage what you've got

Following the tips below can help you reduce energy use and cut energy costs of your existing appliances:

  • Clothes Washers: Switching to cold water can save the average household more than $40 annually with an electric water heater and more than $30 annually with a gas water heater.
  • Dishwashers: Rinsing dishes by hand can use up to 20 gallons of water before the dishes are even loaded. Energy Star qualified dishwashers and today's detergents are designed so you don't have to pre-rinse and can simply scrape food off dishes before putting them into the dishwasher.
  • Refrigerators: Keep your refrigerator at 35 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit; temperatures colder than necessary will waste energy. In addition, to maximize efficiency of an older model, leave a few inches between the wall and the refrigerator, and keep the condenser coils clean. Check, and replace if necessary, the seals around the door.
  • Freezers: Keep the temperature at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and make sure the seals around the door are airtight.

 

Together we can build a more
sustainable Long Island

 

These challenging economic times have magnified the problems we Long Islanders face each and every day. With our leaders warning us of tougher times to come, thinking regionally and acting locally is urgent. It is in all of our best interests to stay engaged and do what we can together to build a more sustainable Long Island.

 

Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to Sustainable Long Island that will help support our ongoing and future work within your Long Island communities; while helping advance economic development, environmental health, and social equity!

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Sincerely,

The Board and Staff of Sustainable Long Island