Newsday’s editorial “Put a stop to expanded dumping in LI Sound” [June 6], is the correct response to the Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental ignorance. The Corps’ dumping proposal calls to mind an American Indian saying: Never live downstream from a white man.
Early settlers were seen fouling rivers and other water bodies with wastes that flowed downstream to become someone else’s problem. Today, the vast majority of our nation’s people have learned we all live “downstream,” and we must properly treat our wastes.
At Southampton College, I taught a course primarily to marine science students called “Spirituality of the Environment.” The class integrated science and Indian wisdom — the understanding that everything on Earth is part of one family. There is no separation between human nature and the rest of nature.
Evolutionary science teaches that life began in saltwater bodies. From this view, the Army Corps’ dumping proposal can be seen as a threat to life. Why? Because Long Islanders, fish and many other species live ecologically downstream from the Long Island Sound, and our health depends on keeping this life-giving body of water clean. The Corps must find an alternative.
Peter Maniscalco, Manorville
Editor’s note: The writer was an adjunct professor in environmental studies at Southampton College.