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Environmental group gets municipalities
The majority of municipalities invited to formally participate in the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee, a fledgling environmental group operating under a federal grant that expires next month, have signed up for membership, committee chairman Eric Swenson said.
Eleven of the 18 invited villages, towns, city and counties have committed annual dues ranging from $1,250 for villages to $9,750 for counties, he said.
In exchange, the committee is to help them secure environmental grants, meet federal and state mandates to avoid fines, and perform other tasks relating to the harbors.
Those agreeing to participate are the villages of Bayville, Centre Island, Lattingtown, Laurel Hollow, Mill Neck, Muttontown and Cove Neck, the city of Glen Cove, the towns of Oyster Bay and Huntington, and Nassau County, Swenson said last week.
“Most of them have been very enthusiastic,” Swenson said. “The ones a little farther away from the water” have been more hesitant, he said.
“We’re hopeful that they’ll do the right [thing] and join us,” Swenson said. “As it is, we do have a good group, but the more, the better, and the more effective we’ll be.”
Upper Brookville is set to consider membership at its board meeting today, he said.
Suffolk County is the only invitee to decline membership, though participating members’ dues to the committee won’t necessarily rise as a result, Swenson said.
The county still will be “available to participate on an as-needed basis,” Deputy County Executive Jon Schneider said Monday.
“Given our limited staff time and limited financial resources, now’s not the time for us to expand commitments on a blanket basis,” he said, adding, however, “If they need us, just look east.”
The committee is hoping to wrap up its outreach and send the formal agreement to members by the end of this month, Swenson said.
Above: Members of the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee at Theodore Roosevelt Park in Oyster Bay. (Jan. 23, 2012)