East Hampton Town this week signed off on $169,000 worth of water quality improvement projects in Sag Harbor, marking the first time since voters in 2016 approved an extension of the Community Preservation Fund that money for such purposes has been spent in the village.
A handful of rain gardens and permeable pavement projects, while reducing the amount of harmful runoff reaching surface waters, are not going to solve the many water quality problems facing the village, but they mark an important first step in the battle to address them.
Rain gardens, which are basically plantings in low areas where rainwater and runoff can collect before being absorbed back into the earth, are particularly encouraging because, unlike catch basins, they can brighten up a street corner or a homeowner’s front yard and help raise awareness of the importance of taking steps to slow down runoff.
East Hampton Town has already signaled that another six projects on its side of the village are likely to be approved. Now it’s time for the village to turn its attention to Southampton Town and ask it to begin approving some of the 16 projects proposed for that side of the village.