Northport Harbor's high nitrogen load has made it home to some of the worst red tide blooms in Long Island and the northeastern coast, leading to numerous shellfishing and beach closures in recent years. Are government entities and individuals doing enough to address and prevent the pollutants causing the nitrogen overload?
Northport Village is in the midst of a $9 million sewage treatment plant upgrade to come into compliance with the EPA's 2014 emission standards, which will cut the amount of nitrogen output allowed by 50 percent. Village representatives will discuss progress on the sewage treatment plant upgrades on Thursday at a water quality symposium at Huntington Town Hall at 7 p.m. lead by the Northport Harbor Water Quality Protection Committee, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and the Town of Huntington.
Other presenters will discuss ways to alleviate pollutants flowing into the harbor. Dr. Chris Gobler of the SUNY Stonybrook School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences presents "Water Quality Problems and Solutions in Northport Harbor," Citizens Campaign for the Environment presents "What Actions the Public Can Take to Protect the Harbor," and Save Our Harbors presents "An Update on the Dredging of Centerport Harbor."
The Northport Harbor Water Quality Protection Committee cites stormwater runoff mitigation and upgrades to sewage infrastructure as the top ways to bring nitrogen levels back to normal. Trustee Tom Kehoe proposed a complementary oyster seeding program at the last Board of Trustees meeting, saying that the untouched oysters would help filter pollutants out of the water as well as help the local shellfishing industry. Some residents have also called for further regulation of waterfront businesses to combat pollution in the harbor.
What do you think should be done to help the harbor? Are local, state, and federal governments doing enough? What part does the individual play?
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