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For Release: Thursday, February 3, 2022

DEC Announces Virtual Public Meeting on Feb. 17 for Long Island Sound Embayment Study

Initiative Will Help Evaluate Which Strategies Could Reduce Nitrogen and Improve Water Quality in North Shore Waters

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced a virtual public information session on Feb. 17, 2022, about a new water quality study of Long Island Sound embayments. The study is being conducted as part of the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) and will explore potential technologies available to exchange more sea water into embayments along the Long Island Sound to help reduce the accumulation of nutrients, particularly nitrogen, and improve the health of the waterbody.

The study is one of many efforts by DEC, Nassau and Suffolk counties, and our partners to reduce nitrogen pollution throughout Long Island's surface and ground waters. The need for the assessment came about from the results of Nassau and Suffolk counties' Subwatershed studies, which showed that some embayments will not be able to meet their water quality goals by using the current suite of pollution reduction actions.

The study will evaluate options to help meet water quality goals established by LINAP and the counties by enhancing the flow, or exchange, of sea water in three types of Long Island embayments, including shallow harbors, harbors with a sand spit, and tidal inlets. By looking at certain flow exchange practices such as dredging, trenching, or piping sea water, among other actions, the study will help improve the knowledge of scientists and planners in their work to develop plans to improve water quality in certain bays. The study will include information about how well the different practices do or do not improve water quality. Communities could then use the information from the study to determine if they want to initiate a feasibility study for a specific embayment and specific modification at a particular location. No construction of modifications is associated with the study itself.

DEC's virtual informational session will include a presentation on the assessment, including the goals, objectives, and deliverables. The session will be held virtually on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, from 2 to 4 p.m. The link to the session and more information can be found on LINAP's webpage. The study is being funded through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Long Island Sound Study.

The study is one of many ways New York State is working to safeguard Long Island's water sources, which includes Governor Kathy Hochul's proposed expansion of the SUNY Stony Brook Center for Clean Water Technology Research to include improved septic and wastewater treatment systems to treat phosphorous and nitrogen and the creation of the Suffolk County Wastewater Management District.

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