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Good News for Water Quality

News
December 18, 2018

By Janet Schutt

Trust Receives Funding to Protect Drinking Water in Brookhaven

Clean drinking water – or the lack of it – has been headline news across the United States in the past several years. The East End is no different. Pollution caused the closing of wells in Southampton and East Hampton Towns just this summer.

The Peconic Land Trust, along with the Peconic Estuary Program, is doing something about it.

In January 2018 we were awarded a $2.3 million grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to purchase land and conservation easements in areas known as Special Groundwater Protection Areas within the Town of Brookhaven.

The Peconic Estuary Program has partnered with the Trust, providing technical guidance, and will continue to work with us throughout the various stages of preservation.

Our planning and stewardship staff are currently working with five landowners as well as the Town of Brookhaven. Stay tuned for more information on these projects.

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This initial grant covers only 75 percent of the purchase price of the property. Therefore, the Trust is working very closely with the town, Suffolk County, foundations and individual donors to raise the additional 25 percent.

In 2015, a Suffolk County study found that it costs 10 percent more to provide drinking water from a well that is surrounded by developed land, rather than natural lands. This is due to the cost of treating the water for contaminants.

In addition, land conservation reduces the demand on our water supply and the amount of storm water runoff, while providing habitat for plants and animals and increasing our resiliency to extreme weather.

We’re excited to add that this past summer, we requested additional State funds to grow the program within the Towns of Riverhead, Southold, and Shelter Island.

We look forward to updating you on our progress early next year.

For more information on this program or to make a donation in support of land protection in Brookhaven, contact Amanda Abraham at AAbraham@PeconicLandTrust.org or Josh Halsey at JoshHalsey@PeconicLandTrust.org.