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Environmental forum comes to Riverhead

State Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle (R-Port Jefferson). (May

State Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle (R-Port Jefferson). (May 24, 2012) Credit: David Pokress

For the first time in its history, the annual environmental forum sponsored by state Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) is going to be held on the East End.

The forum, held at the beginning of the year for more than a decade, is expected to bring together more than 65 elected officials, environmentalists and civic leaders for a two-hour roundtable discussion of problems and concerns. In the past, it has often led to state legislation to deal with the participants’ common concerns.

The forum had been held on the Selden campus of Suffolk County Community College, but this year the big meeting room the group requires was unavailable. So the program has been moved, and will be held on Feb. 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. in downtown Riverhead.

Water quality issues are expected to be a big topic at the meeting.

“Brown tide, red tide, toxic plumes. ... The No. 1 topic is state assistance in developing a clean water strategy on Long Island,” said Robert DeLuca, president of the Group for the East End.

He also expects there will be discussion of the storage of storm-damaged cars and their environmental impact, and some talk about the need for planning for post-storm recovery. “We got a one-two punch from Irene and Sandy. It’s got everybody’s attention,” DeLuca said.

The meeting will be at Suffolk County Community College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Center at 20 E. Main St., which has a large meeting room that can be set up for a round-table discussion, rather than a traditional auditorium setting.

“Not a lot of venues can handle the type of layout we want for so many people,” said LaValle spokesman Drew Biondo.

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