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PEP Rewards Program Money Available for Flanders Residents; Demonstration Project Being Developed at Big Duck Spring Fair

 Peconic Estuary Rewards Program Money Available for Flanders Residents; Demonstration Project Being Developed at Big Duck Spring Fair

The Peconic Estuary Program (PEP), one of 28 National Estuary Programs, has been working to protect and restore the Peconic Estuary for over 20 years. One of the factors negatively impacting water quality in the estuary, along with nitrogen from sewage, is stormwater runoff.  This is water that picks up pollution and travels toward the bay bringing contaminants with it. Two good ways to deal with stormwater runoff include: eliminating/reducing the use of potential contaminants (i.e. pesticides and fertilizers) and giving stormwater a chance to be used by plants or be absorbed into the ground.

In order to address this stormwater runoff issue, PEP with the support of Group for the East End (GFEE) and New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) is offering a unique rewards opportunity for residents in the Reeves Bay watershed in Flanders, Southampton (as well as residents in the Hashamomuck Pond watershed in Southold). This educational project will help homeowners reduce runoff from their property, which will improve local water quality. Rebates are being provided to eligible homeowners who use native plants by installing rain gardens or conservation landscaping on their properties.

This Saturday, May 17, 2014, PEP and GFEE will be working with local volunteers, to develop a demonstration native plant garden at the Big Duck site in Flanders. We will begin at 10am, just as the Big Duck Spring Fair gets underway, so stop by to help us plant and learn about this great rebate program, while enjoying the Annual Spring Fair setup by Friends of the Big Duck.

Conservation landscaping projects reduce runoff by reducing the amount of water leaving your property after a storm, and reduce fertilizer use often associated with large lawns. This demonstration garden as well as the rebate program will be available for viewing and will provide an opportunity for residents to learn more about the Peconic Estuary and ways they can help protect and restore this local treasure. Also eligible for a financial reward (and available for viewing along the outside of the Big Duck bathrooms) is the installation of a rain barrel. Rain barrels catch water that would otherwise run off your property and put it to good use, like watering your flowers or vegetable gardens. This program was launched last fall and there has been quite a bit of community interest. However, there is some funding remaining, and more applications are being accepted. Spring gardening season is upon us, so send in your application today!

For more information please visit or contact Jennifer Hartnagel at Group for the East End (


Contact: Jennifer Skilbred, Communications Specialist

631-899-3651 Ÿ