A Letter from Staff Member Matt Swain | Water Quality on the East End

August 11, 2023

By Matt Swain

Water Quality

If you’re anything like me, you’re enjoying the hot August sun brightening your summer, the smell of a backyard barbeque filling the air, and long days at your favorite local beach. Now is that time of year when we start wishing that summer will never end.

But at the same time, our East End home is facing serious water quality challenges that need immediate attention.

Humans and animals (including shellfish) are experiencing health risks—the result of excess nitrogen and pollutants in our coastal waterways…

Drinking water is under threat—by outdated septic systems, saltwater intrusion, overdevelopment, and chemical contamination…

The East End’s economy is being impacted—by decreased commercial and recreational fishery landings, public beach closings, and shellfish harvest restrictions…

Shorelines and forested areas are being built on—increasing coastal erosion and negatively impacting natural groundwater recharge…

So much of what makes the East End special is at risk: our bays and ocean, our estuaries and streams, our ponds and lakes. Not to mention our vital drinking water.

By making a gift today, YOU will help to address these urgent issues and provide solutions that will make a lasting difference.

As Vice President of the Trust, I lead our Stewardship team. It’s our job and our passion to turn your gift into immediate action. Your support will:

  • Protect land from development so that clean water can recharge the aquifer.
  • Support local shellfish operations that play a critical role in filtering our coastal waters and replenishing our shellfish populations.
  • Study the effects of nitrogen entering our waterways and provide solutions.
  • Plant more native vegetation and create natural buffers at our preserves to filter out pollutants.
  • Install new I/A septic systems at Trust properties and educate homeowners on affordable and effective septic solutions.
  • Educate our community on sustainable lawn care practices.

As a donor, you continue to be an important part of the Trust’s work. It takes us…staff, volunteers, and many partners…to do the physical work, but it also takes a community of people who care—YOU.

Your gift today will support the Trust’s work to improve water quality on the East End of Long Island. But it doesn’t end there—you will also be supporting our mission to conserve Long Island’s working farms, natural lands, and heritage for our communities now and in the future.

Your support, no matter the amount, will have a profound effect on our community. I look forward to continuing to work with you to make a positive impact on the East End of Long Island. You can help make sure that our summers (and all the seasons!) are healthy and whole for generations to come.

Email me anytime with questions about our work. I’d love to hear from you. Thank you for taking action to make a better future for the East End.

P.S. I cannot stress enough how much your support will mean to our East End community. Your gift will protect Long Island’s natural lands, working farms, and heritage. And you will provide hope for a cleaner future for our waters.

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Peconic Land Trust needs your support to protect the working farms, natural lands, and heritage of Long Island.