Moment Is Here - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1681716

Moment Is Here

Nearly 30 years ago, there was an insightful vision by a number of politicians to protect a swath of pristine and environmentally sensitive land — the Pine Barrens of eastern Long Island. With then-Governor Mario Cuomo, State Senator Ken LaValle and others, the Pine Barrens Protection Act was signed in 1993 to address forever the fact that the land should remain pure and pristine, not only for its natural beauty but because a great deal of our drinking water lies beneath the Pine Barrens. They knew that a time would come when some entity would want to develop the Pine Barrens — and that moment has arrived.

Discovery Land wants to build luxury homes and a professional golf course in the Pine Barrens of East Quogue. Under normal circumstances, such a proposal should be rejected with little or no debate, but we are not dealing with normal circumstances.

It is nearly impossible to pick up and read a local newspaper and not find a serious issue with our water, from one end of Long Island to the other. Newsday has just published a scathing expose of the problems Grumman is responsible for, with respect to the severity of tainted groundwater due to their negligence and the cover-up that followed. East Hampton’s problem with its groundwater supply due to sand mining is a topic that concerns them.

A problem exists in East Quogue, where the proposed development by Discovery Land is being contested. New water mains had to be installed on Lewis Road, which is adjacent to the Discovery Land project, to give some of the residents of East Quogue potable water.

I could go on ad infinitum about the water problems on Long Island, but to the crux of the problem: To knowingly support a major project in the Pine Barrens when all the facts clearly point to the likelihood that adding more pollutants to an already compromised water supply would only further exacerbate a very serious problem — it makes no sense.

The Pine Barrens Protection Act was written into law for this very moment, and it must be seen as the last bulwark against a problem that will haunt Long Island for generations to come. The time has come to say no to Discovery Land.

Michael Alestra

East Quogue


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