May 24, 2006
Legislature Approves Wetlands Acquisition
In a major victory for preservation, the Suffolk County legislature announced last week the approval of a resolution to acquire a rare wetlands property for future generations.
The resolution grants approval to acquire the Georgiopoulos property, the first of 13 separate parcels that encompass the Great Ponds Wetlands Preservation Project in Southold, which the county is seeking to acquire for preservation.
The Great Ponds Wetlands consists of 10.98 acres of environmentally sensitive land under the ownership of 13 separate individuals. The maritime dunes and freshwater interdunal swales are "globally" rare, meaning they are rare across the world and not just in New York or the United States.
"Being significant, rare, and unique elements to the north shore of Long Island, preserving the integrity of these two delicate and sensitive ecological communities is imperative to avoid environmental degradation," said Legislator Ed Romaine, who co-sponsored with County Executive Steve Levy the first of the possible 13 acquisition resolutions.
Romaine said he is pleased to begin the acquisition process in Southold, yet another forward step for a town that is a leader in the fight for preservation of open space and farmland and protection of the county's ecosystem.
Southold Supervisor Scott Russell said he was grateful for the county's renewed vigor in property acquisition in Southold. "It is a vitally important piece for protection," he said, and thanked Levy, Romaine, and the county for "working in a nonpartisan spirit to make sure our preservation efforts are being met."
The planning steps resolution for the Great Ponds Wetlands was approved in April of 2005 and qualifies for the County's Drinking Water Protection Program because the property is located fully or partially within statutorily designated freshwater/tidal wetlands and buffer Lands. The Great Pond Wetlands property scored a total of 78 points, high on the county's rating system.