Preventing Overdevelopment

Why do people come to the East End? It’s simple. Nature. It’s the basis for our quality of life and our local economy, and we need to protect it.  That’s what the Group has been doing since 1972. We work with local, state and federal officials and civic organizations to ensure environmentally responsible development and to protect our natural resources. Our future depends on it. Face it, our natural resources are finite, and without the Group’s guidance, we’ll use them too fast.


Key Projects

Preservation of 400-acre Hills Property in East Quogue

The property known as “The Hills” in East Quogue is the largest unprotected tract of privately held pine barren forest remaining in Southampton Town. The Group has worked for years to permanently protect this parcel, and organized dozens of civic, community and environmental groups in support of its preservation.  These efforts led to several formal acquisition offers by Suffolk County and Southampton Town, but all were rejected by the property’s owner, a development company known as Discovery Land.

Now the Arizona-based company has a development proposal for the site that includes over 100 luxury condos and a golf course.  Thousands of trees would be cut down and nearby surface waters of Shinnecock Bay would be put at risk for further contamination from sewage and pesticides. Although the Town of Southampton could have voted to reject the proposal, which is not allowed under the site’s highly restricted zoning, the Town Board decided to consider the creation of a special new zoning district just to accommodate this project.

Working with member of the East Quogue community, the Long Island Pine Barrens society and other concerned citizens, the Group is now pressing for a stringent environmental review. The Group remains committed to a conservation outcome for this property, and with your support, we will fight against any project that threatens to further degrade our local forests, force wildlife to the brink of extinction, and add any more pollution to our already-impaired waterways.  For more information on this issue, please contact:

Jenn Hartnagel, Senior Environmental Advocate
631-765-6450, ext.211
email jhartnagel@eastendenvironment.org

Plum Island Preservation Campaign

As a founding member of the Preserve Plum Island Coalition (PPIC), Group for the East End has assembled stakeholders, advocates, and legislative representatives on Long Island to prevent the sale of federally owned Plum Island to a private party and to secure a significant portion of the island as a dedicated refuge to protect wildlife and the surrounding waters of the Long Island Sound and Peconic Estuary.

In July 2016, the Group joined the Connecticut Fund for the Environment and several members of the PPIC, and filed suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the General Services Administration.  After repeated warnings to take their legal obligations to protect Plum Island’s fragile habitats and endangered species seriously, the latest report from the DHS revealed they had no interest in doing so.

We refuse to sit by and let federal agencies auction off Plum Island, a publicly-owned, 840-acre treasure and mostly undeveloped refuge for some of the region’s most imperiled species of wildlife. 

Plum Island is less than a mile from Orient Point, at the eastern tip of Long Island’s North Fork.  Eighty percent is virtually untouched – think Galapagos – making it an ecological gem. The Island is home to federally threatened and New York State endangered shore birds and approximately 190 other bird species, including the bald eagle, osprey and barn owl, which use it for breeding and/or migratory purposes.

In addition, Plum Island is the largest seal haul-out site in southern New England, playing host to up to several hundred grey and harbor seals each winter. There are also 40 rare and protected plant species on the Island.

For more information on this issue, please contact:

Bob DeLuca, President
631-765-6450, ext. 213
email bdeluca@eastendenvironment.org

Southold Comprehensive Plan

Group for the East End is playing an active role in reviewing Southold’s proposed town-wide comprehensive plan. Our staff is participating in community meetings and providing information on the potential environmental impacts of planning decisions. We are making sure that water quality, open space preservation, and the protection of natural areas are priorities as the Town continues to draft this plan which will help to shape the future of Southold. For more information on this issue, please contact:

Jenn Hartnagel, Senior Environmental Advocate
631-765-6450, ext. 211
e-mail jhartnagel@eastendenvironment.org

Calverton Grasslands Conservation Strategy

Group for the East End and its partners on the Coalition for Open Space at EPCAL are developing a conservation plan to preserve the most significant environmental features and groundwater resources at the Enterprise Park at Calverton site. Most recently, we worked with other local environmental organizations as well as the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to put together a map which protects the most sensitive natural areas on the site. For more information on this issue, please contact:

Bob DeLuca, President
631-765-6450, ext. 213
email bdeluca@eastendenvironment.org

Development Severely Limited on Shelter Island's Ram Island Causeways

Group for the East End worked closely with the Shelter Island Town Board and the Ram Island Association to dramatically limit development on the Ram Island Causeways. After the sole house on one of the pristine coastal barriers was rebuilt after a fire, Shelter Islanders grew concerned about additional houses being built on the private parcels, and sought help from the Group. The stringent rules adopted by the Town Board included the development of a new causeway zone, requiring building applicants to obtain a causeway permit from the Town Board, as well as a Town wetlands permit. These efforts will hopefully lead to permanent preservation of the Shelter Island landmarks. [/highlight]

Bob DeLuca, President
631-765-6450, ext. 213
email bdeluca@eastendenvironment.org