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Letters: Good water quality for economic health

Long Island sewage plants got a top grade

Long Island sewage plants got a top grade for removing nitrogen that negatively affects Long Island Sound. This is Fishers Island on the east end of the Sound on Aug. 8, 2012. Credit: Randee Daddona

Contrary to the letter from the developers group Association for a Better Long Island, protecting our drinking and surface waters has become a focus for civic organizations in my area, and from what I read in Newsday, for residents throughout Long Island ["Green bill would have hurt economy, Aug. 11].

In addition to efforts to protect our water and develop new technology to improve septic systems, we also need better regulations to stop the ongoing contamination that causes beach closures, algae blooms and loss of fishing habitats.

For those reasons, I was pleased to learn that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and our representatives on eastern Long Island have made water quality a priority. Now we look to our elected leaders to act and provide the oversight and funding necessary to clean up our water and plan for a more resilient future.

Sadly, it seems we rarely plan and protect in the first place, always assuming that we will be able to find the money to repair once something is broken. In the case of Long Island's water quality that may not be an option. We can't afford to wait. Our economy, environment and the health of our residents depend on it.

Andrea Spilka, Eastport

Editor's note: The writer is president of the Southampton Town Civic Coalition and a board member of the East Moriches Property Owners Association.

At the very moment when 50,000 tons of hazardous building materials were found dumped illegally at a children's playground, in a wetlands area and in a new housing complex for returning Iraq veterans, it took some gall for the Association for a Better Long Island to suggest that somehow we need less government oversight of the construction community.

I would submit that smart growth toward a sustainable Long Island is far preferable to the unbridled and unregulated growth that has led to today's mess. We could choose business as usual, with the lobbyists, the political action committees and campaign contributions shutting down any legislation that seems to threaten the status quo. Or we could truly build a better Long Island, one where our children and grandchildren will want to live.

Marshall Brown, Manhasset