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Organizers hope water-quality forum will be a 'call to action'

From left, Chris Gobler, of the Stony Brook

From left, Chris Gobler, of the Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences; Adrienne Esposito, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment; Richard Amper, of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society; and Kevin McDonald, from the Nature Conservancy are a part of the Long Island Clean Water Partnership, which aims to bring safer drinking water to Long Island. Each will speak at a forum on Long Island's drinking water on Oct. 7 at Farmingdale State College. (Sept. 10, 2013) Credit: Handout

With greater pollution and an increasing number of sewage spills and beach closures on Long Island, a group of environmental organizations says it’s time to address the issue of the region’s declining water quality. To get the discussion started, they are planning a forum on the topic next month.

The forum, Toxic Tides, and Pesticides and Sewage, Oh My!, is being organized by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the Group for the East End, the Long Island Pine Barrens Society and The Nature Conservancy. It is is planned for Oct. 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Farmingdale State College.

“The quality of our water has degraded over the past decade,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “We need now to reverse the trend. We need to be using less pesticides. We need to be upgrading sewage technology and safely disposing of hazardous waste and pharmaceutical drugs.”

These are topics that will come up at the event. The goals are twofold, Esposito said. First, organizers want to raise public awareness of the issue. And they want elected officials to devise a collective solution to ensure healthier drinking water.

“It is going to be a call to action,” Esposito said. “It is about a campaign that refuses to accept the new levels of pollution to the norm.”

One panelist, Chris Gobler, of the Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, will discuss the role of sewage in tainting Long Island water. Pesticides and toxic chemicals will be another topic.

Esposito said the event will have four speakers, followed by a panel discussion. The scheduled speakers include Esposito and Gobler; Bob DeLuca, of The Group for the East End; and Kevin McDonald, of the Nature Conservancy. Panelists will include scientists from various organizations and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

For further information on the forum, visit 

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