Newsday’s editorial board correctly points out the need for better planning and consistency along our North Shore coastline and bluffs [“A coastal consensus is needed,” Aug. 16]. But its remedy, the establishment of a state coastal commission, needs to be further thought out.
In Brookhaven, we have an environmentally engaged supervisor and town board members who are at the forefront of protecting the bluffs and shoreline on Long Island Sound. It is New York State, acting through the Department of Environmental Conservation, that has been too quick to issue permits to well-to-do homeowners looking to harden their coastal property without regard to the impact the construction of bulkheads and other man-made structures have on the entire shoreline.
I would be reluctant to give New York State the authority to override local governments, such as Brookhaven’s, that are doing a good job in protecting the sustainably of the town’s shoreline and bluffs.
Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Setauket Harbor Task Force.
I could not agree more that Long Islanders must collaborate to combat the severe effects of climate change.
The fractured nature of our various local governments does more harm than good in our battle to keep Long Island safe and sustainable. This goal requires planning for sea-level rise, creation of a more resilient coastline and support for renewable energy, including offshore wind.
As a member of the Suffolk County Planning Commission, it is frustrating to continue to see development projects for new businesses, homes and condo complexes directly on the coast. However, building on our coasts without regard to sea-level rise and increased storm activity puts the public and our economy at risk. This is a critical time when planners and scientists must collaborate.
In addition, we also must support the reduction of fossil-fuel emissions that cause seas to rise. Offshore wind farms, including the South Fork Wind Farm, deserve our support. That means the public cannot remain silent. Jobs created in wind technology can spur our economy and supplant the perspective that development is needed to continue our Island’s economic health.
We need to address our coastal weaknesses and promote policies that will strike at the root cause of climate change.
Editor’s note: The writer is executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, an advocacy organization.