Amazing Foresight - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1869210

Amazing Foresight

I read with great interest and reflection your column by Karl Grossman, titled “An Environmental Pioneer” [Suffolk Closeup, Opinion, January 6], about the COVID-19 travails of Victor Yannacone, a name I know well for his early efforts to call attention to our fragile environment.

Although I certainly understand Mr. Yannacone’s frustration with being away from his home on Long Island for such a long period of time, my sympathy wanes a bit when learning that his quarantining is at his son’s home in Maui.

That aside, I was very pleased to see the mention and credit for the environmental movement properly given to Art Cooley and Dennis Puleston, who, among a handful of others, conceived of and created the now critical Environmental Defense Fund, an original combination of local lawyers and scientists working in harmony to correct the environmental abuses of the day.

I have known Art Cooley for just about my entire life — lifeguarded with him at the Surf Club of Quogue in the 1960s — and, in all honesty, not a day goes by without thinking of his groundbreaking work, most often as I take the path through hundreds of acres of beautiful virgin wetlands along Dune Road in Quogue, preserved in perpetuity thanks to his amazing foresight and the efforts of my predecessor as mayor, Thelma Georgeson, who put his words into action.

I will pass on Mr. Grossman’s column to Art, now living in retirement with his son in Colorado.

George Motz