State of the Bays 2024

 

Christopher Gobler Ph.D. of Stony Brook’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences presents State of the Bays 2024 to Southold Town!

 

Christopher Gobler, Ph.D., is a SUNY Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair of Coastal Ecology and Conservation at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University. He also serves as Director of New York State Center for Clean Water Technology.

Dr. Gobler will provide an overview of the health of our water — the bays and LI Sound, as well as our drinking water. He will review land-groundwater-drinking water connectivity and how watershed activities influence these interactions. Recent water quality impairments will be discussed.  Watershed and in-the-water solutions for water quality impairment will be highlighted.

The public is encouraged to attend to learn more about the state of the beautiful waters that surround us, as well as the water beneath us, our groundwater, which is the sole source of our drinking water.

For more information about Dr.Gobler: ChristopherGobler, Ph.D. – Gobler Laboratory

On Long Island, our sole-source aquifer is our drinking water supply and is the primary source of freshwater, nitrogen, and other contaminants to coastal ecosystems. Recent trends in the quality of both groundwater and surface waters on Long Island have been concerning. Emerging contaminants such as PFAS and1,4-dioxane have contaminated some drinking water supplies. Since the late20th century, nitrogen levels in groundwater have risen by more than 60%,critical marine habitats on Long Island including eelgrass and salt marshes have declined by up to 90%, landings of Long Island’s top shellfisheries have declined more than 90%, and harmful algal blooms have been on the rise. In 2023, a record number of HAB-induced shellfish bed closures occurred on Long Island due to the presence of saxitoxin and okadaicacid-producing algae. 2023 also saw the emergence of a new HAB on Long Island, Pseudo-nitzschia which synthesizes domoic acid. Compounding the effects of nitrogen pollution on coastal zones is climate change and2023 provided clear evidence that climate change has arrived in NY. 2023 was the warmest year ever recorded with ocean temperature also reaching all-time highs. Beyond high temperatures, 2023 saw increases in very heavy precipitation events and the emergence of the ‘flesh-eating bacteria’ Vibrio vulnificus which was responsible for several deaths and illnesses on Long Island. Given that continued climate change will intensify heat waves, hypoxia, HABs, and mass precipitation events, action is needed to mitigate these problems. In good news, Long Island has become a hub for novel solutions to mitigate water quality impairment and climate change. ‘In the water’ remediation approaches involving seaweeds and bivalves can locally ameliorate nitrogen loads, algal blooms, and ocean acidification, and recent shellfish restoration efforts have led to estuarine ecosystem recovery. The New York State Clean Water Technology Center at Stony Brook University has identified cost-effective technologies that dramatically reduce the delivery of nitrogen and other contaminants from individual homes to coastal water bodies. Implementation of such technologies coupled with ‘in the water’ solutions will be required to restore water quality and fisheries.

— Christopher Gobler Ph.D

State of the Bays 2024

CutchogueCivicAssociation.org

CutchogueCivic@gmail.com

 

Short-Term Rentals Meeting

Short-Term Rentals Meeting

Civic Engagement at it’s Best! The short-term rentals program sponsored by the Cutchogue Civic Association garnered a crowd on May 23rd. Click on “Short-Term Rentals” above to see the video of the meeting.