Never did I dream that I would be immersed knee deep in these matters, important as they surely are to our coastal community. As a Southampton Town Trustee, having served two terms in office, the learning curve has been at times straight up and down. Persistence, determination and sheer grit have served me well during my time on this historic board.
The Town Trustees are confronted with a multitude of challenges as we look to the future, all the while keeping an eye on the past: sea level rise and warming waters in the face of climate change; the onset of lawsuits by deep-pocketed waterfront homeowners; land use practices that ignore the impact of runoff on our surface waters; hundreds, if not thousands, of antiquated septic systems leaching excess nutrients into our marine and freshwater bodies, causing harmful algal blooms; and the loss of control over traditional maritime practices to far-reaching regulatory agencies, to name but a few.
Collaboration, communication and creative thinking are the tools that I have used to help bring about the first “Living Shoreline” project in the Town of Southampton, a nature-based solution to shore-hardening structures; to effect invasive species management in the coastal plain ponds of the Long Pond Greenbelt; and to allow for the continuation of a pilot program in one of the 90 freshwater bodies in the Town of Southampton, targeting the diminishment of microcystin levels found in cyanobacteria, the bacteria that cause harmful algal blooms.
I would be honored to continue this critically important work by being reelected to serve a third term as a Southampton Town Trustee. Please grant me the opportunity to do so by voting on November 2, or before, with early voting, which begins Saturday, October 23, at the Stony Brook Southampton campus.
Ann E. Welker
Southampton Town Trustee
One fine body…