Land & Critical Habitat Protection

Imagine the East End without owls, osprey, foxes… without open land and farms. This beautiful place just wouldn’t be this place. Group for the East End is committed to convincing local governments to rethink development, overhaul zoning codes, and adopt new wetlands, open space, & farmland preservation laws. We also help citizens get involved in cleaning up local waters, preventing erosion of our beaches, and protecting the places where our wildlife live.


Key Projects

Plum Island Preservation Campaign

As a founding member of the Preserve Plum Island Coalition, Group for the East End has assembled stakeholders, advocates, and legislative representatives on Long Island to prevent the sale of 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 the Peconic Estuary. For more information on this issue, please contact:

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

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.  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

Beach-nesting Bird Site Monitoring and Stewardship

Group for the East End, with assistance and guidance from the North Fork Audubon Society (NFAS), managed and monitored the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s designated beach-nesting bird sites throughout the Town of Southold during the summer of 2013. This stewardship role is important for the protection of critical habitat and nesting areas for Federal and State-designated endangered and threatened shorebird species. Throughout the nesting season, trained staff and volunteers observed and recorded the reproductive success and productivity of individual Piping Plover pairs and Least Tern colonies, as well as document the sightings of Roseate Terns and other migrating and nesting colonial water birds. For more information or if you would like to volunteer in this program, please contact:

Aaron Virgin, Vice President
631-765-6450, ext. 218
email acvirgin@eastendenvironment.org

Osprey Nesting Site Recovery

The Osprey is a keystone species of salt marsh habitats and their presence in the ecosystem helps to maintain a healthy East End environment. Over the last three decades, Group for the East End has built, installed and maintained scores of Osprey nesting platforms across the East End, which have been critical to population recovery for the species. Natural nesting sites are generally located in the tops of tall trees adjacent to wetlands, ponds, lakes and bays. Due to increased development and significant loss of habitat in recent years, viable nesting sites have been hard to find. As a result, the birds have been known to build their nests on top of telephone poles, utility towers and abandoned buildings. To alleviate this problem, specially designed poles with nesting platforms are installed in critical habitat areas to ensure the Ospreys have an adequate number of nesting sites during the breeding season. If you are interested in volunteering in this program to install and restore Osprey nesting platforms, please contact:

Aaron Virgin, Vice President
631-765-6450, ext. 218
email acvirgin@eastendenvironment.org

Suffolk County Land Protection Funding Strategy

Despite the fact that land protection funds are segregated from general operating revenue as a result of voter-approved propositions, the state of the economy has imposed significant strains on the Suffolk County operating budget. Now, some Suffolk County legislators are hesitant to continue the implementation of this critical program. Reduced land protection revenue will impact Suffolk County’s purchasing power and impact the land protection partnerships that have long been integral to land preservation across the East End. The Group is working with some Suffolk County legislators to renew a long-term funding commitment, while there is still available land left to preserve. For more information on this issue, please contact:

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