State Lawmakers Present $200,000 Check To Suffolk County For Peconic Estuary Program

May 7, 2007
Pictured, left to right, are NYS DEC Regional Director Peter Scully, Peconic Estuary CAC Chairman Kevin McDonald, Congressman Tim Bishop, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., Legislator Jay Schneiderman, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, Legislator Ed Romaine, Assemblyman Marc Alessi, Kate Schertel, Group for the South Fork, and Kevin McAllister, Peconic Baykeeper.
At a press conference, state lawmakers presented Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services with a $200,000 check for the Peconic Estuary Program (PEP). This funding was appropriated in the 2007–08 State Budget as a result of the support of Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (R, I, C-Sag Harbor) and Assemblyman Marc Alessi (D-Wading River).

In 1993, the Peconic Estuary became the 20th estuary in the nation to receive the designation as an “Estuary of National Significance” by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Estuaries are the most productive ecosystems on earth and the Peconic watershed is home to 111 rare species. The PEP is a partnership of local, state, and federal governments, citizen and environmental groups. In 2001, the PEP created a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the Peconic Estuary. There are 340 management tasks included in the CCMP.

“The Peconic Estuary is one of New York’s greatest environmental resources,” said Assemblyman Thiele. “The PEP has accomplished many things and all participants should be commended for their hard work. The $200,000 appropriation will help the PEP carry on its crucially important work on behalf of all New York residents.”

“Our natural resources always need to be treated with the highest priority, as they were in this year’s state budget,” said Assemblyman Marc Alessi. “We must work to ensure this program and others like it, continue to receive the financial support they need to help carry out their important missions.”

“The Peconic Estuary is a local treasure and a valued environmental resource,” said Senator Kenneth LaValle. “I am pleased that this funding will assist in the effort to improve and enhance the Estuary’s ecological balance and help to ensure its future viability and natural productivity.”

“The Peconic Estuary is an important component in the ecological balance of the East End, and has an environmental, economic, recreational, and aesthetic value to all Suffolk County residents,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy. “This state grant will help the Peconic Estuary Program continue its work in improving our delicate ecosystem.”

“This funding will help decrease pollution into the Peconic Estuary,” said Congressman Tim Bishop. “Not only the health of our families, but the health of Eastern Long Island’s economy, is tied to the health of our water. I applaud Assemblymen Thiele and Alessi and Senator LaValle for their leadership to protect the Peconic Estuary.”

According to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis, “New York State recognizes the ecological significance of the Peconic Estuary as one of Long Island’s natural resources. This funding from the 2007–08 Budget will add support for the programs that continue to help enhance this critical estuary.”

“The Peconic Estuary CAC is extremely pleased with this state budget appropriation which will fund critically important projects in the Peconic Bay. These projects include reducing sources of pollution and restoring the bay. We thank our state legislators Senator Ken LaValle, Senator Carl Marcellino, Assemblyman Fred Thiele and Assemblyman Marc Alessi for their hard work in securing this funding,” said Kevin McDonald, Chairman of the Peconic Estuary CAC.”