Protecting & Restoring Long Island's Peconic Bays
The Peconic Estuary Protection Committee is an intermunicipal affiliation dedicated achieving improvements in water quality and habitats of the Peconic Estuary and implementing the goals of the federally-recognized Peconic Estuary Program’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.
The mission of the Peconic Estuary Protection Committee is to achieve improvements in water quality and habitats of the Peconic Estuary by leveraging the resources of municipalities and agencies on eastern Long Island. The vision is to improve the ecological health of the Estuary by addressing pollutant sources including stormwater runoff, septic system discharges, agricultural and residential fertilization, groundwater flows, illegal dumping, floatable debris and boat waste. As a unified group of stakeholders, the Committee believes that the future health and productivity of the Peconic Estuary requires a coordinated effort. The Committee members also recognize that intermunicipal cooperation is an effective and resource-efficient means to comply with EPA’s Clean Water Act and New York State’s Phase II stormwater regulations for municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). The Committee seeks to work collaboratively towards improved water quality by sharing information and technical resources, coordinating regulatory and enforcement activities, jointly conducting outreach and education initiatives, and cooperating on planning and infrastructure programs.
Click here to learn more about Water Quality Threats.
The Peconic Estuary Program initiated the creation of the Peconic Estuary Protection Committee having recognized the success of similar intermunicipal water quality coalitions on Long Island and beyond. The Peconic Estuary Program funded the development of the Committee’s draft intermunicipal agreement, completion of the first annual work plan and the initial outreach and coordination activities. The Committee members each have a representative who participates on behalf of the member municipality or agency. Member dues fund a coordinator who facilitates information and resource sharing, joint initiatives, and implementation of priority action items.
See here for a list of other Long Island protection committees with which The Peconic Estuary Protection Committee collaborates.
The Goals of the Peconic Estuary Protection Committee are to:
i. Improve water quality in the Peconic Estuary to help assure that all waters of the Estuary consistently meet water quality standards for bathing, swimming and fishing;
ii. Improve water quality in the Peconic Estuary to help assure that areas currently closed to shellfishing, once again be classified as suitable for the harvesting of shellfish for human consumption;
iii. Help restore and enhance tidal wetlands in the Peconic Estuary that serve to: cleanse ecosystems; provide marine food production and wildlife habitat; offer opportunities for education, research and recreation; provide flood and storm control; and offer open space and aesthetic appreciation;
iv. Help control and reduce point and nonpoint source pollution affecting the Peconic Estuary and its environs;
v. Assist in the achievement of compliance with federal and state statutes and regulations which affect the Peconic Estuary in a coordinated and cost effective manner; and
vi. Help coordinate local coastal regulations so as to maximize protection and enhancement efforts in the Peconic Estuary, its tributaries and wetlands.