Newsday's editorial "Fix Bay Park all the way" [Oct. 16] is spot-on for urging Nassau County to commit to denitrification of the wastewater treated at the Bay Park sewage plant.

Newsday's editorial board rightly recognizes that anything less would simply be a shift of the problem, and not a fix. After seeing our coastal waters battered for decades by pollution from the Bay Park plant, it's the right thing to do. Simply discharging excess nitrogen into the ocean would cause additional stress to this area, which is experiencing widespread algae blooms, one sign of over-enrichment of the ocean.

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It's time for us to become stewards of our backyard and stop treating our coastal environment as a communal pit for our waste.

And while they're at it, Nassau County officials should retrofit the plant to reduce the amount of water discharged by promoting the well-proven strategy of water reuse. This can be done by using the highly treated water for other purposes, such as golf course irrigation. A nine-hole golf course and some athletic fields lie adjacent to the Bay Park plant, and four 18-hole courses lie within three miles.

John Turner, Massapequa Park

Editor's note: The writer is a conservation policy advocate with the Seatuck Environmental Association.