LI group calls on leaders to fix water quality

Members of a Long Island group are calling on officials to take immediate action to improve the Island's water quality.

The Long Island Clean Water Partnership released a report that shows between May and September every major bay and estuary was afflicted by either a toxic algae bloom or oxygen-starved waters.

"Things are worse than ever and something has to be done," says Dick Amper, of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society.

Stony Brook University professor Dr. Christopher Gobler, who monitors 28 site across Long Island, says extensive blooms of brown tide, rust tide and toxic blue green algae indicate that the Island's waterways are in serious trouble.

Gobler say that this year is particularly bad, with more than 4,000 acres of shellfish beds closed in Shinnecock Bay due to toxins.

The water partnership agrees, noting that an unprecedented die-off of marine life has been detected, including hundreds of diamondback terrapin turtles in the Peconic Bay.

The group wants local, state and federal officials to look into ways to reduce nitrogen coming from septic systems and fertilizers. It says state-of-the art septic systems are now available that could reduce nitrogen loads from the waste stream, but they are expensive and would be a major undertaking.

Stony Brook University has initiated a weekly program to monitor water quality levels across Long Island.

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