More than 250 people attended the Water is Life event on Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Helen Butler Hall. Participants heard talks from Suzanne Golas, CSJP who is the founder and director of WATERSPIRIT, and Adrienne Esposito of Citizens Campaign for the Environment who spoke about the daunting issues threatening Long Island’s surface and drinking waters. The audience was given suggestions on how they can help save our water:
1) Do not dump medications down the toilet/in the garbage. You can now “shed your meds” at King Kullen in their Safe Medication Disposal Program.
2) Take care of your cesspool/septic tank! Scientists have determined the largest threat facing our groundwater supply is nitrogen pollution from sewage, Adrienne said. “In Suffolk County, between 1978 and 2005 (18 years), there was an average 200% increase in nitrogen pollution groundwater.” It not only hurts our groundwater, but it also causes dangerous algae blooms that hurt our precious sea life: fish, shellfish, and more.
3) Why do we need the perfect lawn? Lawn chemicals create toxic runoff.
4) BOYCOTT 1,4 dioxane — found in many personal care items. It has been found in our water! It’s dangerous because it is extremely soluble in water, moves easily throughout the soil, does not break down, and endangers our aquifer. What can you do? Check the label and don’t buy them! Call manufacturers and tell them you refuse to buy those items and urge legislators to craft a health-based drinking water standard to require manufacturers to remove 1,4-dioxane from their products.
To conclude the day, water from the four rivers on Long Island — Carmans, Connetquot, Nissequogue, Peconic — was poured together and participants dipped their hands in the water for a special blessing.