Kevin McAllister out at Peconic Baykeeper

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Peconic Baykeeper Kevin McAllister has left the East End environmental organization, a spokeswoman for the group confirmed Tuesday.

Alexandra Millar, spokeswoman for Peconic Baykeeper Inc., declined to disclose the reason for McAllister's departure.

"Kevin McAllister is no longer associated with our organization, Peconic Baykeeper, Inc. We look forward to continuing and expanding the critical environmental advocacy for which we are known," Millar said.

McAllister, a biologist, was serving his 16th year as head of the nonprofit organization, which is headquartered in Quogue and seeks to protect Peconic and South Shore estuaries.

McAllister could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

McAllister is known as a passionate, uncompromising advocate on issues including nitrogen pollution and the spread of pesticides.

"He was a major player in protecting the marine environment," said Richard Amper, executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society. "It'll be very important for the Baykeeper organization to find a solid replacement."

Last Thursday night, McAllister testified before the Suffolk County Legislature's Health Committee about a bill to limit the county's use of methoprene, a chemical used to kill mosquitoes.

McAllister criticized lawmakers for approving what he said was an incomplete environmental study on the insecticide.

"Shame on you all," he said, jabbing his finger at committee members. "Shame on you all for not having fiduciary responsibilities over Suffolk County resources."

Suffolk County vector control later defended the environmental report and said the science is unproven on methoprene's effect on lobster decline.

Millar said McAllister's testimony had no bearing on McAllister's departure.

McAllister was honored last year by the North Fork Environmental Council, which described him as a "strong and consistent voice in the fight to protect our waters."

In an interview with the website marinecareers.net, McAllister said he liked on-the-water patrolling and "traipsing through the salt marshes." The least favorite aspect of his job, he said, was, "the politics and hidden agendas that often compromise the integrity of the decision-making process when considering economic interests versus environmental protection."

Peconic Baykeeper Inc. reported that in 2011, McAllister received $96,353 in total compensation, according to the most recent IRS documents available.

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