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Residents urge Huntington Town Board to take action in protecting Crab Meadow Beach

Town of Huntington
Town of Huntington

On Long Island, Huntington residents are calling for the town to improve protection of Crab Meadow Beach from the environmental impacts of nearby development.

Crab Meadow is one of the few remaining undeveloped salt marshes on the north shore of the Long Island Sound and serves as the habitat and nesting ground for a variety of local wildlife.

In July, the Town Board accepted a community-driven plan for ways to steward the salt marsh and its water quality. The plan was the result of an over-10-year-long study to determine how building developments affect the local environment and water quality.

According to Adrienne Esposito, the executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the study found that, “Groundwater samples, for instance, from 2000 to 2005 nitrogen has increased at the rate of 47%. They found six different pesticides, low levels of volatile chemicals and low levels of pharmaceutical drugs. The water in fresh ponds was above bacteria levels that are considered safe. The private wells were even worse, they are drinking water above the 10 parts-per-million standard of foreign nitrates.”

The water quality of Crab Meadow has degraded significantly and locals are concerned that it’ll get worse before it gets better.

People urged the board to take action at a town meeting on Tuesday. However, nothing has been done since the plan was accepted in July. “Why the silence?” asked John Hayes of the Fort Salonga Property Owners Association. “Can someone on the board explain why a town commissioned a study, which was 9 or 10 years in the making and cost many thousands of taxpayers dollars? Why doesn’t it warrant a comment from someone?”

Community members asked the Town Board to consider a moratorium on nearby developments, including a golf course, in the near future. They also asked the board to form a plan that ensures Crab Meadow’s environment will be managed in a way that protects and maintains it.

Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.