This week, The Moore Charitable Foundation met with several partners in Long Island. Supported in part by our regional affiliate, The Robins Island Foundation, these organizations are integral in protecting East End open spaces and clean water, and they bring passion and vision to protecting this “jewel” of New York State.
Since 1972 Group for the East End (GFEE) has worked to protect and restore the East End through education, advocacy and close management of coastal development. With support from RIF, the Group has launched a collaborative Clean Water Action Campaign to restore Long Island’s threatened supply of drinking water, bringing the topic of clean water to the forefront of the political agenda. GFEE has also expanded its education programs to bestow future leaders with a science-based understanding of the critical role of clean water in the health of the environment. Currently, they are focused on revising the 1978 Long Island Clean Water 208 Study that will include a Nutrient Management Plan.
The Cornell Cooperative Extension takes a hands-on approach to protecting and researching Long Island’s waters. From collecting data on bacteria levels and causes, to establishing rainwater gardens via constructed wetlands, to oyster revitalization programs that benefit the local waters and businesses, the CCE acts in pursuit of economic vitality, ecological sustainability and social well-being.
The Peconic Land Trust ensures the protection of Long Island’s working farms, natural lands, and heritage. Since 2008, the Trust has been focused on their Farms for the Future Initiative, which addresses issues of farmland accessibility, affordability and sustainability, specifically by buying and reselling farms to farmers, and through a five-year mentorship program that provides farmers with the tools they require to be successful. A different initiative started the same year is Bridge Gardens, a 5-acre public garden in Bridgehampton, which now serves as a multi-purpose outdoor classroom, demonstration garden and community resource. The garden hosts classes on the arts, conversations with local growers and gardening experts, music performances, and children’s programming.
Many of our partners celebrated their work with a number of festive events this summer. On May 23rd, we celebrated the 7th annual New Suffolk Chowderfest, a collaborative event between two of our grantees—the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund and Peconic Baykeeper in support of revitalizing the New Suffolk Waterfront property.
The call to action that accompanied GFEE’s Where The Wild Things event embodies the greater mission of the #MooreShores campaign. “185 species will be locally extinct in ten years unless urgent action is taken. Most – including box turtles, short-eared owls and bay scallops – are on the East End. We cannot let these creatures just disappear.” As always, community involvement is vital to the success of all our clean water and land conservation initiatives on Long Island and around the world. Thank you to all of our partners for your dedication to creating a more sustainable planet.