Of course, hurricanes are nothing new. But what is new is that global warming is raising sea-surface temperatures. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there is clearly a correlation between rising water temperatures and more severe storms. Global warming also is causing sea levels to rise as this hotter water causes polar ice to melt. The result is stronger and more damaging storm surges.
It is time for action, not denial. If we don’t start taking responsibility for this existential threat, we risk the future of the planet and the lives of our children and grandchildren.
This threat certainly requires comprehensive solutions on a national and global level. However, it is also a local issue that must be tackled by our local elected and community leaders.
Like the residents of the Bahamas, the Carolinas, Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and other coastal regions that have been hard hit, we residents of Long Island are in just as much danger of increasingly severe storm damage and storm surges. We must demand leaders who will protect our beaches, habitats, homes, towns, drinking water and lives.
That is why I will be voting Democratic this November. Environmental protection has been, and will continue to be, central to the Democratic Party platform. Our Democratic elected officials in Southampton have worked hard and successfully to protect our environment, improve the quality of our drinking water and respond effectively to natural disasters.
For example, under their leadership, the Town of Southampton now participates in the New York State Climate Smart Communities certification program to document the sustainability efforts made by the town. As of this spring, the town secured enough points to be awarded a Bronze designation.
Additionally, after voters approved the use of Community Preservation Funds for water quality, our Democratic leaders are actively soliciting applications for stormwater, drainage, wastewater treatment and aquatic habitat restoration projects. Under Democratic stewardship, Southampton has created a Water Quality Improvement Project Plan that makes certain residents eligible for advanced septic replacement rebates up to $20,000 and has approved $3.5 million for water quality projects in Westhampton Beach, Mecox Bay, Shinnecock Bay, Sag Harbor, Lake Agawam and Mill Pond.
Jay Schneiderman and John Bouvier deserve another term as Southampton Town supervisor and councilman, respectively, and Craig Catalanotto should be voted onto the Town Council. Captain Andrew Brosnan, a committed environmentalist, also should be given a seat as one of our Town Trustees. I trust them to deliver on their promises.
Andrea KlausnerWater MillMs. Klausner is vice chair of the Southampton Democratic Committee — Ed.
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