Sustainable Long Island
September 2015
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
The one-stop-shop...
For all Sustainable Long Island news! 
In This Issue
Sherman Brown Raingarden Build
"Yes We Can" Community Garden Build
Youth-staffed Farmers' Markets Field Trip
Anaerobic Digester to be built in Yaphank
Take a Survey, Win an iPad
Sustainable LI presents an exclusive film screening event
Suffolk County's Inaugural Marathon and Half Marathon
Car Free Day Long Island
2015 APA East End Planning Conference
Board of Directors
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Sherman Brown Raingarden Build
Reduce Rain Runoff 

Earlier this week, Sustainable Long Island conducted a raingarden build at Sherman Brown Park in Long Beach.

This garden is a form of green infrastructure that will collect rain water, capture pollutants, and allow for increased water infiltration.

The garden was built with a dry creek bed, which will help direct stormwater through the site. Over 30 volunteers and members from the City of Long Beach and SLI, including raingarden consultant Rusty Schmidt, helped plant native shrubs that are resistant to salt water intrusion and wind, such as Red Chokeberry, Sea Myrtle, and Coastal Sweet Pepperbush.

The raingarden was funded by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute through a grant from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

"Yes We Can" Community Garden Build
Improving food access and understanding 

On August 26, the Town of North Hempstead and Sustainable Long Island held a community garden build and planting workshop at the "Yes We Can" Community Center. Youth from the community center and seniors from Magnolia Gardens constructed five cedar raised garden beds - filling them with soil and planting cold-tolerant crops, such as romaine, cilantro, napa cabbage, baby bok choy, broccoli, and beets. Five hoop houses were also constructed to help extend the growing season.

The garden was funded in part by Bank of America and New York Community Bank Foundation. Plants were donated from Sang Lee Farms in Peconic. Topsoil was donated from the Home Depot in Westbury and Atlantic Nursery in Freeport. Among the nearly 40 attendees were Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Parks Commissioner Jill Weber, and Councilwoman Viviana Russell. Following the build, a gardening workshop was held to teach attendees about basic gardening techniques.

Click here for coverage from FiOS 1 Long Island.

Youth-staffed Farmers' Markets Field Trip
Groups tour Riverhead farm; learn about LI food system 

Sustainable Long Island recently took 27 members from the Freeport, Flanders, Bellport, and Wyandanch farmers' markets (youth staff, volunteers, and chaperones) to Goodale Farms, a meat and dairy farm in Riverhead, NY.
The groups toured the farm and learned about milk and cheese production. They also had the opportunity to feed goats, cows, and sheep.

Those in attendance had a great opportunity to learn more about nutrition, farming, and Long Island agriculture. The experience helped the youth develop a better appreciation of Long Island's food system and gave them an up-close view on what sustainable milk and meet production entails.

Don't forget! It's not too late to visit some of Sustainable Long Island's partner farmers' markets! For more information, including dates, times, and locations, click here.

Anaerobic Digester to be built in Yaphank
Innovative and ambitious sustainable-energy project will be centered on Long Island

(via Innovate Long Island) - One of New York State's most innovative and ambitious sustainable-energy projects will be centered on Long Island.

An anaerobic digester - which converts food waste, grass clippings and other organic byproducts that would otherwise clog up landfills into clean energy, water and fertilizers - will be installed at Long Island Compost Corp.'s 62-acre Yaphank facility. The digester, which is projected to be operational by August 2016, will be operated by Westbury-based American Organic Energy, Long Island Compost's parent company.

When completed, the digester will be capable of annually processing 120,000 tons of food waste, 30,000 tons of fats, oils and greases, and 10,000 tons of grass clippings, in the process reducing Long Island's regional greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 40,000 tons - equivalent to removing over 8,100 cars from Island roads, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office.

"We are dedicated to building nothing less than the most sophisticated food-waste-processing facility in the world," Charles Vigliotti, CEO of American Organic Energy and cofounder of Long Island Compost, said in a statement.

Amy Engel, executive director of Sustainable Long Island, called the digester project "a fantastic private-public partnership" and a "great example of the direction we should be going in."

"Reducing what goes into our waste stream and reducing what goes to our landfills is the best way to go," Engel told Innovate LI. "Long Island has suffered from having all of these landfills and having to truck waste off the Island, and the fact that we can get clean energy from a project like this is terrific.

"It's innovative that the governor's office is working with GE and Scotts Miracle-Gro on projects like this," she added. "The governor's office has made significant progress regarding sustainable energy and NYSERDA has done some tremendous work."

Earlier this year, American Organic Energy announced new corporate alliances with GE and fertilizer giant Scotts Miracle-Gro that factor into the digester operation. American Organic Energy is partnering with GE for "water cleanup and nutrient-recovery" operations, Vigliotti noted, and with Scotts Miracle-Gro for marketing and distribution of fertilizers produced by the Yaphank project.

"The investment by American Organic Energy in anaerobic digester technology ushers in a new way to transform even more local waste material into a reusable nutrient supply," noted Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO of Ohio-based Scotts Miracle-Gro. "[This] is a tremendous value as we continue our steps to provide an array of organic solutions for consumers."

Anaerobic digestion is a biological process through which organic matter is decomposed by bacteria in the absence of oxygen. Resulting gases can be used to generate energy in place of traditional fossil fuels, while resulting water can be cleaned and used for irrigation purposes.

Once completed, the digester - the largest of its kind in the state, according to the governor - will be self-sufficient. The electricity required to run it will come from the biogases it produces, with enough left over to supplement other power needs at Long Island Compost's Yaphank facility.

Project officials also plan to convert excess gases into fuel for Long Island Compost trucks used on-site, reducing the company's diesel-fuel consumption by 200,000 gallons annually, according to the governor's office.

Cuomo said the "first-of-its-kind project for Long Island and the New York metropolitan area" advances his administration's commitment to renewable energies and reducing the state's carbon footprint.

The project is also supported by the Cleaner, Greener Communities program, part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cooperative effort between New York and eight other Eastern Seaboard states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Take a Survey, Win an iPad
Are you prepared for the next large-scale storm?

How would you feel about taking a shot at winning an iPad Mini just by completing a five minute survey?


As long as you are living on Long Island, just access this link and take your best shot:  


What is the survey about

The survey is aimed at collecting information about Long Islander's level of knowledge related to potential disasters. Through its questions, the survey will determine your knowledge on first-aid, evacuation plans, etc., and what you can do in extreme situations caused by natural disasters.


Who can enter?
The survey is designed for people living on Long Island and it measures how prepared they are for the next major natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy. All residents of Nassau and Suffolk Counties that complete this survey can enter the race for a chance to win a 16GB iPad Mini, one of the bestselling tablets developed by Apple.


Survey content
The 18 questions that compose the survey are very specific and the honesty of the answers is extremely important moving forward. Depending on how fast of a reader you are, it takes from 5 to 10 minutes to go through each of the questions.


Throughout these questions, Sustainable Long Island wants to determine things, such as if your house is properly equipped and supplied in case of a natural disaster. The survey also gauges your general knowledge related to such catastrophes.


After having completed the survey, you will be asked to enter your valid e-mail address in order to be eligible for the draw. The winner will be notified via e-mail by September 30th, 2015.


Information privacy
Named the "Storm Readiness Assessment," the survey's information will only be shared with the competent authorities and key leaders that can help manage and improve such a situation, such as the Long Island Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management, or the American Red Cross. 


Racing to Zero
Sustainable LI presents an exclusive film screening event 

On Tuesday, September 29, 2015, inside the Alumni House - Main Room at Adelphi University, Sustainable Long Island will present an exclusive screening of Racing To Zero - a quick-moving, upbeat documentary presenting new solutions to the global problem of waste. By simply substituting the word RESOURCE for the word GARBAGE, a culture can begin to be transformed and a new wealth of industries can emerge.

Three years ago, the mayor of San Francisco pledged to achieve zero waste by 2020. Racing to Zero tracks San Francisco's waste stream diversion tactics and presents innovative new solutions to waste. This film documents a surprising, engaging and inspiring race to zero. For more on the film, click here.  


More information will be announced moving forward, including information on a pre-film reception and an interactive question and answer session discussing the film's key messages with leaders in the industry.

Tentative Event Schedule:
5:00pm - 6:00pm Reception
6:00pm - 7:00pm Film Screening
7:00pm - 8:00pm Question + Answer Session

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Tickets are $25 per person. Call for the student rate of $10. For more information contact Scott Woodson at 516-873-0230 or

Sponsors to date include Farrell Fritz, Albanese Organization, CA Rich Environmental Specialists, Powersmith, PSEG Long Island, Miriam K. Deitsch, Ph.D, Environmental Resources Management, Ann and Len Axinn, Robert and Susan Bernard, Janet Fernandez CPA, Local Office Landscape Architecture, Nawrocki Smith, and Bowne AE&T Group.

Suffolk County's Inaugural Marathon and Half Marathon
To be followed by the Taste of Long Island festival 

On the morning of Sunday, September 13, 2015, Suffolk County will be hosting the first ever Suffolk County Marathon and Half Marathon to Support Our Veterans. The event is expected to draw approximately 10,000 visitors and has already registered more than 2,000 runners. The marathon, which begins and ends in Heckscher State Park in East Islip, will be followed by the Taste of Long Island Festival. To learn more about the marathon, please visit
In addition to promoting healthy lifestyles and raising money for our local veterans, it is important the Suffolk County Marathon is used to highlight and celebrate local food and agriculture. This Taste of Long Island Festival is a unique opportunity to show the world the incredibly diverse collection of food and drink options available across Suffolk County.

To celebrate the entire breadth of Suffolk County produce and agritourism options, event organizers are looking for vendors to host tastings and sales of fresh local produce, baked goods and value-added products, roasted corn, cheeses and ice creams, fresh seafood and shellfish, fruit juices, ciders, wines, craft beers, spirits, etc.  
If you are interested in participating in the inaugural Taste of Long Island Festival, please contact August Ruckdeschel at 631-853-4714 or at  

Car Free Day Long Island
Celebrate sustainable transportation this September 

Car Free Day is an international event celebrated every September in which people are encouraged to get around without cars and instead ride a train, bus, bicycle, carpool, subway or walk. This year, Long Island will once again join in by celebrating its 3rd Annual Car Free Day on Tuesday, September 22, 2015.


Car Free Day gives us the opportunity to consider the negative impact of single occupancy vehicles. Using cars less by using alternative modes such as transit, carpooling, bicycles, walking and telecommuting helps reduce traffic, conserve energy, reduce harmful emissions, reduce parking problems and save money!


Sustainable Long Island is proud to support Transit Solutions and 511NY Rideshare as they spearhead this initiative on Long Island for the third year in a row. To participate in this event, all you have to do is pledge to be car free or car-lite on September 22, 2015 by filling out the pledge form . It's that simple! Once you pledge you'll automatically be entered for a chance to win great prizes! Already car free? That's great and since you're doing the right thing, you will also get the same chance to win prizes when you fill out the pledge form.


Car Free Day is an event celebrated in over 1500 cities in 40 countries around the world. It's celebrated in different ways but with the common goal of taking cars off the road. The benefit to society is a day with less traffic congestion, a greener environment and reduced energy use.


Help make the 3rd annual Car Free Day LI a great success - pledge today!


2015 APA East End Planning Conference
Thursday, September 24, 2015 

On September 24th, the APA Long Island Section will hold its annual East End Planning Conference in a new location. This year the conference will be held at the Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) Chancellor's Hall located on Tuckahoe Road in Southampton. The LEED Silver-rated Marine Sciences Center showcases state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor seawater labs, all visible from the central lobby. The program will include:
  • Behind the Scenes Tour of the new Marine Sciences Center and outdoor research grounds (2:00 - 3:00 pm) [Optional]
  • Registration and Networking (3:00 - 3:30 pm) Sponsor Exhibits
  • Welcoming Remarks (3:30 pm) - Hon. Anna Throne-Holst, Supervisor, Town of Southampton
  • Session 1 (4:00 - 5:30 pm): East End Transportation Challenges {1.5 CM credits pending}
  • Dinner Buffet & Networking (5:30 - 6:00 pm) Sponsor Exhibits
  • Session 2 (6:00-7:30 pm): Needed Infrastructure to Support Burgeoning East End Aquaculture Communities {1.5 CM credits pending}
For more information and to register click here.

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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The Board and Staff of Sustainable Long Island