Subject: Manhasset Bay Protection Committee electronic newsletter February 2018
This months newsletter is dedicated to stormwater and the important role we all play in keeping stormwater from being polluted.
We thank you in advance for your support and help as everyone plays a role in protecting Manhasset Bay. Please share our newsletter and ask others to sign up at our web site: http://www.manhassetbayprotectioncommittee.org/
What is Stormwater:
Stormwater is any precipitation (rain and snow melt) that travels across the ground and is not absorbed by soil. As it travels, stormwater , now known as runoff, picks up pollution in its path, such as bacteria from pet and bird waste, nutrients from fertilizers, and petroleum products from roadways. This runoff, which is considered non-point source pollution, travels directly to the surface waters of Manhasset Bay and is not treated.
The Importance of Storm Drains:
As you walk your part of the Manhasset Bay watershed you may notice storm drains cut into the curb and meant to remove stormwater quickly from streets and surrounding areas. These drains are meant only for stormwater to move through and are not trash receptacles. Anything that is poured down or placed into these drains leads to our beautiful Manhasset Bay or into groundwater. Do not place pet waste, leftover lawn fertilizer, used oil, food scraps, trash, or anything else into these storm drains. Pet waste can be disposed of in your trash; lawn fertilizer can be swept up and kept to be applied later. Used oil can often be returned to stores that sell motor oil. Certain food scraps can be composted and the rest can be thrown out in your regular garbage. Some of our storm drains are marked with a stainless steel medallion (like the one pictured here) that says no dumping, drains to bay to serve as a reminder that only rain should go down the drain. Additionally, last year the Town of North Hempstead painted sidewalks with water reactive paint (like the picture below) as another reminder of the importance of keeping everything but rain out of the drain. A PSA on storm drains can be found on the Towns website at: http://www.northhempsteadny.gov/stormwater
As part of the Clean Water Act, the US Environmental Protection Agency established the National/State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program, which, in New York, is managed by the State Department of Environmental Conservation (SPDES). Within this program is the Phase II SPDES General Permit for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4). Any small municipality who discharges stormwater to a receiving body of water is required to apply for this permit and work to reduce stormwater pollutants to the maximum extent practicable. All the members of the Manhasset Bay Protection Committee are on the MS4 permit and, among other things, complete an annual report due in June of every year. The Committee assists the individual members by completing some of the requirements of the MS4 on behalf of the members and preparing sections of the required report.
REMEMBER WHAT GOES DOWN THE STORM DRAIN
GOES DIRECTLY INTO MANHASSET BAY
CIGARETTE BUTTS, OIL, WEED KILLER,
CUPS, PLASTIC LEAVES, FERTILIZER AND MORE
Who We Are:
The Manhasset Bay Protection Committee is an inter-municipal organization focused on addressing water quality and coastal issues in Manhasset Bay with a coordinated, watershed-level approach. The Committee has 15 member municipalities: Nassau County, the Town of North Hempstead, and 13 Villages who all voluntarily entered into an inter-municipal agreement. The Committees goals are to protect, restore, and enhance Manhasset Bay so as to insure a healthy and diverse marine ecosystem while balancing and maintaining recreational and commercial uses. Tasks that help toward these goals include the annual water quality monitoring and regular assessment of Manhasset Bay.
Where We Are:
Manhasset Bay is one of the westernmost estuarine embayments of the north shore of Long Island, NY. The Bay is, therefore, influenced by activities in and around New York City and Long Island Sound, as well as its own watershed. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservations (the State regulatory agency concerned with environmental issues both on the land and in the water) Priority Waterbodies List, Manhasset Bay is impaired by pathogens (as indicated by the bacteria fecal coliform and enterococcus) from stormwater runoff.
Manhasset Bay is a vital resource which impacts the local and regional economy. The Manhasset Bay Protection Committee remains committed to implementing projects and activities that facilitate an improvement in water quality toward the swimmable, fishable goals of the Clean Water Act.
Recommendations for How Everyone Can Help:
Listed below are some examples of simple changes to everyday activities that will have a positive impact on Manhasset Bay, even in areas seemingly far from the Bay.
Clean up after pets: dog (and even cat) waste that is left on the ground can be picked up by rain water and transported to Manhasset Bay, increasing bacteria counts.
Do not put anything down a storm drain, ever. This water is not treated, but instead flows directly to Manhasset Bay. As a reminder, look for medallions like the one pictured at right on storm drains.
Clean up spills of fertilizer and pesticides: like pet waste, these spills can be picked up by rain water and transported to Manhasset Bay, where they can have adverse impacts on water quality.
If you have a cesspool or septic tank, get pumped out regularly. Visit http://www.getpumpedli.org for more information.
Dont feed ducks, geese, or other birds: there is a bounty of food that nature provides which is better than anything people feed them (and human food can actually be harmful). Also, feeding birds tends to concentrate them in an area, leading to more bacteria entering the water from their droppings.
Dont flush anything unless it passed through you first, with the exception of toilet paper. Foreign objects, even those that claim to be flushable, can clog sewer and cesspool systems, causing leaks of untreated or poorly treated sewage.
Dont fertilize before a rain storm and consider getting your lawn tested to learn how much fertilizer it needs. Also consider leaving grass clippings in place after mowing: they break down quickly and naturally fertilize the soil.
Do not pour grease and oil down the sink and be sure to report to the Town or Village if you see anyone doing just that. Similar to flushing the unflushables, grease and oil cause clogs and are often the cause of sewage spills.
Connecting downspouts to the sewer system is illegal. Remove these hook-ups and notify the Town or Village where you live if you see someone else doing this. Consider alternatives, such as rain gardens, for your downspout discharge.
Volunteer for a beach clean-up! Trash un-intentionally gets blown away and ends up in Manhasset Bay. Help combat this problem at the source by properly disposing of your garbage and on the beach by volunteering.
Visit http://www.ManhassetBayProtectionCommittee.org for more information.
The Committee members are:
| Nassau County
Town of North Hempstead
Port Washington North
Thank you for reading this first installment.
We want to hear from you!
Please send us any comments, questions, etc. on this newsletter or the Bay
15 Vanderventer Avenue, Port Washington, NY 11050
Copyright 2018 Manhasset Bay Protection Committee