Subject: Manhasset Bay Protection
Committee electronic newsletter – February 2018
This month’s 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
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.
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 Town’s website at:
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
CIGARETTE BUTTS, OIL, WEED KILLER,
PLASTIC LEAVES, FERTILIZER AND MORE ………
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 Committee’s 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.
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 Conservation’s (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.
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
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.
for more information.
Don’t 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.
Don’t 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.
Don’t 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
for more information.
Committee members are:
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
15 Vanderventer Avenue, Port Washington, NY 11050
Copyright 2018 Manhasset Bay Protection Committee