Kayakers on the Carmans River paddle their way through the...

Kayakers on the Carmans River paddle their way through the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley. (July 23, 2013) Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Long Island's aquifer and the Carmans River need additional safeguards from contamination, more than enough of a reason for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to sign a bill this week that expands the pine barrens core region by almost 1,100 acres.

The new law would allow undeveloped state and local public land, as well as 540 acres of privately held parcels, to be moved into the watershed protection area, a sure bet for continued preservation. Sponsored by Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) and Assemb. Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst), the bill is a necessary first step toward connecting these sites close to the edge of the 10-mile river, one of the most pristine in the region. Next, the Town of Brookhaven, which already has a fund for land acquisition, must put in place a plan to purchase the private land.

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