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OpinionLetters

Lawn chemicals pollute Long Island’s aquifer

A lawn in Farmingdale, complete with dandelions.

A lawn in Farmingdale, complete with dandelions. Credit: NEWSDAY / David L. Pokress

Long Islanders must not pollute our aquifer

It occurred to me as I drove to work recently how many green lawns I passed. We worry about contaminated water in Suffolk and Nassau counties, and we expect and want the government to step in. But we are causing this problem ourselves.

Chemicals are pumped onto our lawns and gardens. These chemicals can wind up in our aquifer, which is where our drinking water comes from.

When I was growing up in Hauppauge, we had the best water around, and it came from a well. Now I live in Yaphank, and I have water from the Suffolk County Water Authority, and it tastes horrible.

Stop your own pollution of our drinking water, and let the grass get brown once in a while. Let a dandelion grow.

June Votava, Yaphank

Don’t reduce federal funds for research

Rep. Lee Zeldin recently did a wonderful job in a recent news release promoting the excellent scientific research conducted at Stony Brook University and funded by the National Science Foundation. However, a news release from his office gave the public the wrong message about scientific teamwork and acknowledgment of financial and intellectual support.

Federal grant funds are secured through months of research and writing by the principal investigator. In this case, it was Fan Ye, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Upon submission, National Science Foundation grant proposals are reviewed by multiple sets of scientific experts both outside and inside the foundation. These grants and the ensuing research depend on support from the federal budget.

In the 2016 fiscal year, approximately 20 percent of submitted grants were funded. Many more merited funding. In President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, this funding could plummet to less than 10 percent of applicants. Zeldin should be mindful when he votes on Trump’s budget that it could mean reduced research and innovation for Long Island.

Nicole Sampson, Setauket

Editor’s note: The writer is a professor of chemistry at Stony Brook University.

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