Sustainable Long Island
October 2014
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
The one-stop-shop...
For all Sustainable Long Island news! 
In This Issue
In a Long Island Hamlet, a Downtown is Being Built from Scratch
The Boardwalk as a Destination
Farmingdale State College Hosts Celebration of Food Day
Adopting the Greater Bellport Land Use Plan with Confidence
2nd Annual Sustainability All-Star Awards
Water Quality Improves in Long Island Sound
Climate Change Case Study
Board of Directors

Charlotte Biblow, Esq: President
Farrell Fritz, P.C.
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Lauren Furst: Executive Vice President

Pathways to Wealth, LLC 

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Robert Bernard: Treasurer 

Capital One Bank

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Lennard Axinn: Secretary 

Island Estates

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Russ Albanese

Albanese Organization Inc.
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Jeff Arestivo  Citibank 

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Dr. Miriam K. Deitsch

Farmingdale State College,
State University of New York

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Jeff Kraut

North Shore - LIJ Health System

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Kevin McDonald

The Nature Conservancy
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Ruth Negr
´┐Żn-Gaines
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Lidija Nikolic
Bank of America

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John O'Connell

PSEG Long Island

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Mitchell H. Pally

Long Island Builders Institute

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Charles Rich

CA Rich Consultants, Inc.

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Dr. Robert Scott

Adelphi University 

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Ron Shiffman

Pratt Institute

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In a Long Island Hamlet, a Downtown is Being Built from Scratch  
Sustainable LI spoke with the New York Times about Wyandanch Village, a 40-acre, $500 million development project

(via NY Times) - For years, this Long Island hamlet has been caught in the grip of poverty, blight and crime while the nearby Hamptons and other New York City suburbs in Suffolk County prospered.

Even a McDonald's restaurant failed and was torn down.

But community leaders are betting they can help cure entrenched social problems by creating a vibrant city-style, high-density downtown where none existed before.

 

"This is going to be a major improvement in our quality of life," said Kimberly Jean-Pierre, the director of the Wyandanch Community Resource Center, a job-placement agency.

 

Called Wyandanch Village, the 40-acre, $500 million development project, which is being paid for with public and private funds, calls for adding a mix of stores, offices and apartments in the middle of low-slung strip malls and auto-repair shops. Ground was broken on the 12-acre first phase last year.

 

As opposed to Long Island development plans from the last century, which created driveway-and-garage suburbs like Levittown, the project is not trumpeting its car-friendliness.

 

In fact, in a regional trend, it is by a train station, with the expectation that residents - including those for whom cars are too expensive - will prefer to commute by rail.

 

New businesses will provide jobs, advocates say, and with huge investments in sidewalks and streetlights, as well as a park with an ice-skating rink, Wyandanch Village will provide the hamlet with a needed new-and-improved look.

 

"All these pieces will go hand in hand to help revitalize the place," said Russell C. Albanese, chairman of the Albanese Organization, a Long Island-based firm that is the project's developer.

 

Conceived more than a decade ago, the project in Wyandanch (pronounced WHY-an-danch) has been slow to coalesce, frustrating some residents. It took years to buy up or use eminent domain to take the nearly 70 properties in the project's path, and upgrade and install infrastructure like sewers.

 

Next, the hamlet, which is part of the town of Babylon and about 40 miles from Midtown Manhattan, will gain a new, larger train station. A parking garage for commuters, to replace acres of surface parking lots, is also going up.

 

In addition, the Long Island Rail Road is at work on a continuing project to bolster train service to the area, which will result in a second track in Wyandanch.

 

In all, $93 million in public funds, from federal, state and local sources, has been spent on those stage-setting improvements or set aside for future ones.

 

Read more here...

The Boardwalk as a Destination 
Sustainable LI issues Long Beach Boardwalk Phase II community participation results

Sustainable Long Island, in association with the City of Long Beach, has issued the "Phase II - The Boardwalk As A Destination" public report.

 

This report is based on the results of an August 2014 online survey and Long Beach Listens community participation meetings, in which members of the public were given an opportunity to voice their preferences regarding the future development of the iconic Long Beach Boardwalk.

 

At the meetings, residents broke into groups to discuss their ideas of adding amenities to the boardwalk and shared them with all those in attendance. Many suggested adding shaded areas with seating and tables for games, like checkers and chess, as well as artwork along the boardwalk. Many said they wanted bike rentals to return to the area, and to have permanent food concessions, bathrooms and showers again.  
  
Some residents envisioned a pier with restaurants, solar panel charging stations, and an amphitheater. Residents also wanted to make sure local businesses would be involved in all of these new efforts, not alienated by new businesses coming in.  

 

You can view the full report, which was presented to the Long Beach City Council earlier this month, here

 
Farmingdale State College Hosts Celebration of Food Day  
Promoting food access, importance, and quality
Left to Right: Iman Marghoob M.S.,R.D., Stony Brook Medicine; Erin Thoresen, Sustainable Long Island; August Ruckdeschel, Suffolk County Agriculture and Fisheries; Amy Engel, Sustainable Long Island; and Dr. Miriam Deitsch, Farmingdale State College

Sustainable Long Island recently participated in Farmingdale State College's celebration of Food Day (officially Food Day is this Friday, October 24).    

   

Sustainable Long Island was on hand to discuss our food equity efforts - highlighting the Food System Report Card and Healthy Corner Stores Project.   

 

In addition, there were panel discussions on food security, urban agriculture, and sustainable gardens. Cooking demonstrations of healthy, local, and nutritious food also took center stage with much of the food available for tasting.  

Food Day was created to unite people with a vision of food that is healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, farm animals, and the people who grow, harvest, and serve it.

 

Read more about Food Day here...   

 
Adopting the Greater Bellport Land Use Plan with Confidence 
Plan up for adoption October 28, 2014

Sustainable Long Island has worked with the Greater Bellport community since 2006, when community leaders brought us in to coordinate a planning process that would facilitate the revitalization of the community by developing a safe, thriving, and environmentally healthy place to work, live, and play.  

 

From these initial meetings, the Greater Bellport Coalition was formed. Having identified issues central to the area, the diverse community came together to devise solutions to numerous problems, including the creation of a hamlet center, improving code compliance, and developing a range of housing options.

 

As the process has come full circle, Sustainable Long Island would like to applaud the Town of Brookhaven and Councilwoman Connie Kepert for hearing the communities' wishes and using their feedback to further advance the Bellport Hamlet Center - looking at the potential to include affordable housing options north of the LIRR train station.

 

We would also like to commend the community members of Bellport for remaining active and dedicated to the future growth of their hometown. Many residents and business owners have remained dedicated to the planning process through a multitude of focus groups, numerous design and education workshops, the creation of the Sustainable Community Plan, and a handful of public meetings. They have never let hard work get in the way of making sure their voices were heard and can be proudly seen as a model for other Long Islanders looking to get more involved in the planning of their local communities.  

 

Greater Bellport is in a unique position to ensure that the growing and changing population has access to housing and services. If adopted, the Land Use Plan will set the stage for revitalization of the community by allowing reasonably priced housing, new retail, and mixed-use development.

 

2nd Annual Sustainability All-Star Awards 
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at OHEKA Castle

Join Sustainable Long Island at the beautiful OHEKA Castle on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 for the 2nd Annual Sustainability All-Star Awards. From 5:00 - 7:00PM, Sustainable Long Island will be honoring The Albanese Organization (Russell Albanese, Chairman) and New York Community Bank (Andrew L. Kaplan, Executive Vice President) for outstanding leadership in sustainability across Long Island. Both honorees have: 

  • Helped disadvantaged communities by implementing various projects and programs;
  • Engaged Long Islanders directly to help foster relationships and build capacity;
  • Dedicated their efforts to advance sustainability initiatives Island-wide.

REGISTER TODAY 

 

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Sponsors to date include Albanese Organization, New York Community Bank, Farrell Fritz, Dr. Miriam K. Deitsch, PSEG, and OHEKA Castle. Find out more at  www.sustainableli.org 

 

Water Quality Improves in Long Island Sound
Report shows basis for continued support and implementation of green infrastructure

 

(via EPA) - For the second summer in a row, concentrations of dissolved oxygen in Long Island Sound are higher than the long-term average, indicating improved water quality and improved ecological conditions for organisms that live in the Sound.

 

Aquatic animals rely on oxygen that is dissolved in water to survive. When dissolved oxygen levels decline, this can cause some animals to move away, weaken, or even die. Low dissolved oxygen can occur when nutrients such as nitrogen enter a water body in excess, over stimulating plant growth. Nutrients such as nitrogen can enter a water body through discharges of sewage and from fertilizer runoff.  

 

In recent years, Connecticut and New York State have worked with the EPA to implement a nitrogen pollution reduction plan to improve the Sound's dissolved oxygen levels, and to protect aquatic animals and public health.  Much of the improvements in water quality is attributable to wastewater treatment facility upgrades and other measures are reducing nitrogen pollution to the Long Island Sound.

 

"The work New York, Connecticut, local governments and the EPA have done to build and upgrade sewage treatment plants has significantly reduced the nitrogen going into Long Island Sound," said Judith A. Enck, EPA Region 2 Administrator. "We need to make financial investments in sewage treatment plants, and work to reduce pollution from septic systems and fertilizers, which also degrade water quality in Long Island Sound."

 

"We hope the trend of improved dissolved oxygen levels in Long Island Sound continues. Investments in clean water are essential to a healthier ecosystem, which also contributes to more resilient and economically vibrant communities," said Curt Spalding, Regional Administrator of the EPA's New England office

 

Read more here... 


Climate Change Case Study  
How Chicago, IL and Boulder, CO fight climate change

(via Smart Growth America) - Climate action plans-sets of strategies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other negative environmental impacts-play a critical role in realizing a community's vision for sustainability. While dozens of cities have such plans, few have the supplemental programs necessary to set them in motion. However, there are leader communities that are making notable efforts on implementation. Chicago, IL and Boulder, CO are two of those cities, and they are using benchmarking and pricing to reduce carbon emissions.

 

Chicago's energy benchmarking program

In 2013, the Chicago City Council approved a proposal from Mayor Rahm Emanuel to create the Energy Benchmarking Program, which requires all commercial, residential, and municipal buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to monitor and report their energy use. Energy benchmarking poses little cost to the city and positions building owners and tenants to make more informed energy choices, which can then feed a regional green jobs industry.

 

"Good data drives markets and innovation," says Mayor Emanuel. "This ordinance will accelerate Chicago's growth as a capital for green jobs by arming building owners, real estate companies, energy service companies, and others with information they need to make smart, cost-saving investments."

 

Boulder's Carbon Tax

According to Jonathan Koehn, Boulder Regional Sustainability Manager, Boulder, CO gets 70% of its electricity from the burning of coal. The City has adopted one of the more aggressive plans in the nation to mitigate carbon emissions, and it has created a dedicated funding stream for implementation through a pioneering policy. In 2006, Boulder instituted a "carbon tax" on the use of electricity generated from fossil fuels-the first policy of its kind in the United States.

 

"Many communities have climate action plans that lay out the ways they are going to reduce their emissions, but they are left in this void of understanding, 'How do we pay for these things?'" says Koehn.

 

Read more here...

Together we can build a more
sustainable Long Island

 

These challenging economic times have magnified the problems we Long Islanders face each and every day. With our leaders warning us of tougher times to come, thinking regionally and acting locally is urgent. It is in all of our best interests to stay engaged and do what we can together to build a more sustainable Long Island.

 

Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to Sustainable Long Island that will help support our ongoing and future work within your Long Island communities; while helping advance economic development, environmental health, and social equity!

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Sincerely,

The Board and Staff of Sustainable Long Island