Our Obligations - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2046005

Our Obligations

The articles and commentary about the proposed athletic field on Marsden Street failed to mention anything about what the actual environmental concerns are.

For some, it appears that providing “competitive fields” means providing artificial turf. This makes no sense and is grounded in a “keeping up with the Joneses” attitude — following the lead of other school districts and decisions made with ignorance. We should pride ourselves on being more thoughtful and not follow the mistakes of others in making poor decisions with detrimental consequences for the local community.

Artificial turf is highly toxic — the plastic blades are laced with forever chemicals (PFAs). This results in exposure to carcinogens for our children playing on the surface, and it results in exposure for the rest of us in our drinking water. The hazards these chemicals represent are beyond most people’s comprehension, but they are an environmental disaster. This is the reason they are being banned all over the country, most recently in the city of Boston. And it’s why the board of Mashashimuet Park will not allow it there, either.

In response to Chris Tice’s quote of the week: Our primary obligation should be to provide a safe environment for our children that is free of exposure to toxins. Our children don’t deserve to inherit a dystopian world where plastic is deemed to be better than grass, artificial better than nature, and toxins wreak havoc on human health and the ecosystem.

Furthermore, cutting down more trees is really not what the planet needs right now. These lots are also prone to flooding, which will be far worse after clearing and installing an artificial field.

Please, let our children play on grass. It’s toxin free and has been well tested with humans for thousands of years. Spend on proper maintenance of natural grass fields and not on an experiment with your children’s health.

The Marsden Street lots can be used for the school and the community in its natural state for science, art and recreation. That would be a more appropriate use of the Southampton Town Community Preservation Fund, which has stated goals including the “preservation of forested lands” and “long-standing groundwater protection.”

Artificial turf is in direct conflict with both of these noble aims.

Alastair Hawker

Sag Harbor