Yesterday I announced the single most important initiative of my administration and what should be the single most important goal for all Long Islanders: Curbing the decades of nitrogen poisoning we have been inflicting on our ground and surface waters here in Suffolk County.
As I stated in my press conference, where I was joined by scientists, environmentalists, representatives from the business and agricultural communities, the water supply and construction industries, and elected officials from both sides of the aisle, nitrogen poisoning is public enemy number one for our bays, waterways, drinking supply, and the critical wetlands and marshes that protect us from future natural disasters. There is no denying the harmful and destructive nature of this problem or the very real danger we, and future generations, face if we do not begin to take immediate and decisive action against this foe.
The scope of the problem is grand: over 350,000 homes in Suffolk County are not sewered and are contributing nearly 70% of the pollution. But just because the problem we face is daunting is no excuse for inaction. This is why I have brought this issue to the forefront of my administration’s goals and why I will remain focused and diligent in bringing real solutions to the table on how to begin to address this crisis.
Yesterday was the beginning, the launch of a campaign, the first of many steps in what is sure to be a long journey to resolution. As Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment said yesterday, "Today will be known as the turning point."
I urge you to join me and the collaborative team we have brought together to save our water, and in return save the future of this great county. By staying informed on this issue, spreading the message, and joining the cause, together we can save this precious resource.
Suffolk County Executive