The East End’s Supervisors and Mayors formally announced the creation of The Peconic Estuary Protection Committee on Wednesday, October 28. The event was held after the monthly meeting of the East End Supervisors and Mayors Association at the Southampton Social Club in Southampton.
Suffolk County’s Deputy County Executive Peter A. Scully was joined by Southampton Supervisor-elect Jay Schneiderman, Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, Southold Township Supervisor Scott A. Russell, Shelter Island Township Supervisor James Dougherty, and Committee Coordinator Rachel Gruzen, as well as North Haven Mayor Jeff Sander. Sag Harbor Village Trustee Robby Stein will serve as the village’s liaison to the committee.
The Peconic Estuary Protection Committee is an intermunicipal affiliation of East End municipalities and agencies dedicated to restoring and improving water quality in the Peconic Estuary and implementing the goals of the federally-recognized Peconic Estuary Program’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. Signatories to the Intermunicipal Agreement are the County of Suffolk, the Town of Brookhaven, the Town of East Hampton, the Town of Riverhead, the Town of Shelter Island, the Town of Southampton, the Town of Southold, the Village of Greenport, the Village of North Haven, the Village of Sag Harbor, and the New York State Department of Transportation.
“The committee recognizes the Peconic Estuary as an estuary of national significance and a vital coastal ecosystem essential to the environmental and economic well-being of the people in the surrounding communities,” said committee coordinator Rachel Gruzen “The committee is deeply concerned with the existing degradation of the Peconic Estuary due to a variety of pollutant sources, including stormwater runoff, septic system discharges, agricultural and residential fertilization, groundwater flows, illegal dumping, floatable debris and boat waste. The committee aims to protect, restore and enhance the Peconic Estuary to ensure a healthy and diverse marine ecosystem while balancing and maintaining recreational and commercial uses.”
“As a unified group of stakeholders, the committee believes that the future health and productivity of the Peconic Estuary require a coordinated effort. The committee members also recognize that intermunicipal cooperation is an effective and resource-efficient means to meet water quality goals.”