Protecting Water & Stopping Pollution

Water water everywhere! We live on an island. It’s critical to our well being that our water is safe for drinking and swimming. Group for the East End has always been committed to water protection – from the nationally significant Peconic Estuary, to the Atlantic Ocean, to the smallest kettle pond, to the aquifers under our feet.

Key Projects

Long Island Clean Water Partnership

Group for the East End is a founding member of the Long Island Clean Water Partnership. Started in 2013, the partnership was formed in response to the increasing pollution in Long Island’s water, which threatens our health and quality of life. Scientists and engineers have identified causes of this water pollution and found proven solutions to fix these problems.

Working with leading conservation organizations across Long Island, we are changing the status quo, elevating awareness, and implementing strategic water quality protection actions that will reverse the decline of Long Island’s water quality.

Our focus is on transforming the way we manage our sewage (a major source of water pollution on the East End), improving clean-up of hazardous waste, eliminating pesticides and fertilizers from our drinking water, strengthening disposal requirements for pharmaceuticals and household hazardous materials, protecting undeveloped land, and creating a management entity with the sole purpose of improving Long Island’s water quality.

With a shared vision and united mission, the Partnership is focused on an island-wide campaign for change, in order to protect and restore clean water for current needs and future generations. In order to succeed we need your help. Please JOIN THE PARTNERSHIP today!

For more information on this issue, see our LI Water Summary, or contact:

Bob DeLuca, President
631-765-6450, ext. 213

Huge Election Day Victory for Community Preservation Fund

On Election Day, November 8, 2016, more than 78% of East End residents voted to pass Proposal 1 on the ballot. As a result, two major enhancements were made to the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund (CPF):

  1. The term of the CPF has been extended from the year 2030 to 2050.
  2. Each of the five East End towns can use up to 20% of their CPF’s annual revenue for water quality improvement projects (as defined by the Town Boards in each town). The ability to use these funds applies retroactively, so existing monies can be made available for current water quality programs.

Note: These changes do not increase the CPF tax in any way. They only extend the life of the fund and include an allocation for clean water projects. 

The newly extended and expanded fund will generate over $1 billion for land protection and over $600 million for urgently needed water quality improvement programs.  The Group will be integrally involved in crafting, promoting and assuring the highest level of accountability for every dollar spent.

This is the largest and most important environmental victory for the region in a generation and it shows the progress we can make when our community is united for, and informed about the critical future of our fragile East End environment.

A special thank you to everyone who voted for the enhanced CPF, including the local businesses and organizations listed below.  Your efforts inspire us every day!

1943 Pizza Bar
Accabonac Protection Committee
Amagansett Springs Aquifer Protection
American Farmland Trust
Bartky Healthcare Center
Bay Burger
Bay View Pines Civic Association
Bridgehampton National Bank
Brix & Rye
Citizens Advisory Council-West
Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Long Island East
Citizens Campaign for the Environment
Concerned Citizens of Montauk
Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, North Fork Office
Diliberto Winery
East End Mushroom Company
East Marion Community Association
East Quogue Citizens Advisory Committee
East Quogue Civic Association
Edmund Hollander Landscape ArchitectsFarm Design LLC
Flanders Citizen Advisory Council
Flanders/Riverside/Northampton Comm. Ass’n
Forever Films Inc. & Forever Bungalows
Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation, Inc.
Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt
The Garden Club of East Hampton
Gardiner’s Marina
Group for the East End
The Group to Save Goldsmith Inlet
Halsey’s Marina
Hampton Bays Civic Association
Harbor Marina
The Jamesport-South Jamesport Civic Assn.
League of Women Voters of the Hamptons
Leo S. Walsh Foundation
Long Island Environmental Voters Forum
Long Island Farm Bueau
Long Island Pine Barrens Society
Long Island Wine Council
The Market Whole Foods, Supplements, & Café in Greenport
Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association
Miceli Contracting Company
The Nature Conservancy
New York League of Conservation Voters
North Fork Audubon Society
North Fork Environmental Council
Northville Beach Civic Association
Noyac Civic Council
Ocean Spray Hot Tubs and Saunas
Orient by the Sea
Orient Design
Paul Brennan, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Peconic Baykeeper
Peconic Green Growth
Peconic Land Trust
Perfect Earth Project
Piazza Horticultural
Pickerell Boats Inc.
Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center
Riverhead Neighborhood Protection Coalition
Rolling in Dough
The Safina Center at Stony Brook University
Salt Construction Corp
Sang Lee Farms
Save Sag Harbor
Save the Sound
Seacoast Enterprises Associates, Inc.
Sierra Club Long Island
Southampton Bayman’s Association
Southampton Water Protection Alliance
Southampton Town Civic Coalition
Speonk/Remsenburg Civic Association
Surfrider Foundation – Eastern LI Chapter
Three Mile Harbor Marina
Times Review Media Group
Van Dyke & Hand, CPA
Village Real Estate
Wading River Civic Association
Water Mill Citizen Advisory Council
Westhampton Beach Conservation Advisory Council
Wild Bird Crossing/Bridgehampton

CPF Background: The funds in the CPF are generated by a real estate transfer tax of 2%, which they buyer pays at the close of the sale of land or developed property. The tax is collected by Suffolk County, and redistributed to the town in which the property is located. The funds are placed in each town’s CPF, and are restricted to uses as defined by the CPF plan developed by each of the towns for conservation and preservation of land and stewardship of those properties.

The term of the original CPF legislation, enacted in 1998, has been extended twice through referendum – most recently in 2006 lengthening it from 2020 to 2030. To date, over $1 billion has been raised through the CPF and over 10,000 acres of land have been protected.


For more information on the CPF, please contact:

Bob DeLuca, President
631-765-6450, ext. 213

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.

Spring Pond Restoration

Group for the East End and the Gardiners Bay Estates Homeowners’ Association has engaged in a joint effort to help restore the health of Spring Pond in East Marion. Over the last two years, the Group has helped this community secure $30,000 in financial support to develop and implement a stormwater management plan for the surrounding community of approximately 100 homes. Recently, funds were allocated to begin the construction phase of the stormwater management plan. We will continue to increase awareness about water quality issues and specifically improve the deteriorating water quality that has recently led to shellfish closures in Spring Pond, a significant embayment that feeds into the Peconic Estuary. For more information, please visit

East End Medication Disposal Program

For decades people were told to flush their unwanted medicines down the toilet. Unfortunately, we now know that when flushed down the toilet, prescription and over the counter medications can contaminate the environment including drinking water, harbors, and bays. Group for the East End with support from Suffolk County has worked with the East End Town and Village police departments to setup a collection program to properly dispose of medications and help protect our local water quality.  Proper disposal of medications can also help prevent drug misuse, abuse, and harm to children, pets, and others.  Participating local police departments provide safe, secure drop-off receptacles for disposal of prescription and over the counter medications. For more information on this issue, visit EAST END MEDICATION DISPOSAL

Mapping of Shelter Island Septic Systems

The Group moved the Town of Shelter Island one step closer to a waste water management plan by providing a grant of $4,000 to create a database of all the septic systems on the Island. Knowing the locations gives town officials a better idea where the potential water quality problems may be. Antiquated and poorly-functioning septic systems allow waste to seep into our bays and harbors. The result is excess nitrogen, which is the major source of pollution (and algal blooms) in our local waters. [/highlight]

For more information on this issue, contact:

Bob DeLuca, President
631-765-6450, ext. 213