Water is the lifeblood of Long Island, New York, home of Grassroots. Along our southern coast, the Atlantic Ocean thunders ashore with its pounding surf; on the North Shore, the gentle waves of Long Island Sound lap at the water's edge. And the countless bays, inlets and marshlands that dot the island support an active maritime industry while providing ample opportunities for recreation and tourism.
Under the island lie ancient fresh water aquifers that provide water to all Long Island residents. These aquifers are recognized by the EPA with a special designation as a Sole Source Aquifer region.
Protecting the quality of our water is essential to Long Island's future and the health and wellbeing of its residents. So recent reports of significant pollution, both to our aquifers and our surface waters, should be of concern to everyone who lives here.
There is no doubt that the rapid development of Long Island has had a major impact on the groundwater and surface water problems we face today. Developers and homeowners have routinely been granted variances from building codes meant to protect water resources or limit consumption, and local leaders and elected officials seem reluctant to restrict development for political reasons.
We call on our leaders to support construction projects that observe local zoning laws, re-purpose previous developments rather than develop open space, and make use of new technologies to reduce runoff, capture nitrogen and reduce water consumption.
The use of high-nitrogen fertilizers adds to our groundwater and surface water problems, and we strongly encourage our county and town leaders to adopt legislation to restrict the sale and use of high-nitrogen fertilizers on Long Island.
Similarly, pesticides for agricultural and residential use and toxic chemicals used for industrial processes continue to negatively impact our groundwater, and remediation costs add to our tax burden. We support local efforts to increase organic farming methods and other programs that reduce or eliminate the use of agricultural pesticides, and we encourage all Long Island homeowners to use non-toxic methods to maintain their lawns.