Saturday, February 2, 2019

Fwd: Pine Barrens Monthly - February 2019

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From: Richard Amper Executive Director <>
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Subject: Pine Barrens Monthly - February 2019

The Pine Barrens Monthly

February 2019 Updates

Riverhead Town Takes Steps to Protect Woodlands
    At a Town Board meeting on January 15th, the Town of Riverhead took its first steps in prohibiting the false choice between woodlands and solar facilities. After a public hearing on a proposed amendment that would require the appropriate siting of solar farm projects, it is clear that Riverhead is well on its way to becoming the latest town to lead in the protection of Long Island's woodlands. The amendment, when approved, will require that all solar projects are sited on previously cleared land, rooftops and in parking lots, rather than on wooded land. The Town of Riverhead will join the ranks of Southold and Brookhaven, which have already prohibited the clearing of woodlands for solar. The Society applauds the Town of Riverhead for its initiative in an issue that our organization has been actively involved in for years. The proposed amendment represents the best hope for stopping the senseless destruction of woodlands and the wildlife, flora and habitats that reside in them.
     The main push to address the concerning trend of destroying woodlands for solar projects arose out of last year's senseless destruction of 60 acres of precious Pine Barrens woodlands in preparation of a solar farm. This land in Mastic had originally been slated for preservation, but the false choice between woodlands and solar led to the destruction of more than 15,000 trees. The amendment under consideration by the Town of Riverhead should, therefore, be viewed positively as a means of averting an environmental tragedy in the vein of the Mastic Clearing from happening in Riverhead town. Congratulations to Riverhead Town for its environmental leadership!

Caption (Above) - A rally for the protection of woodlands and proper solar siting held in December 2017

Now Playing on LIPBS TV
       Long Island is in the midst of a water crisis, but government, non-profit and science leaders are collaborating to find solutions to the worst of this crisis. The Long Island Clean Water Partnership's annual "Water We Going to Do?" Conference is one of the best ways for Long Island's leaders to accomplish this. Because of this, the Pine Barrens Society is recapping the 7th annual iteration of the  "Water We Going to Do? Conference throughout the months of February and March on its television program. This two part series will feature some of the experts most active in solving Long Island's water problems as well as some of the innovative solutions currently being implemented and researched across the island. Join LIPBS TV co-hosts Richard Amper and Kathleen Nasta in hearing from representatives of Suffolk and Nassau Counties, Stony Brook University, the Town of Southampton, the New York State DEC, the United States Geological Survey and many more! Don't miss the recap of the Long Island Clean Water Partnership's 7th Water We Going to Do conference to hear from the following experts:
Ryan Wallace
Phd. Candidate, Stony Brook University

Ty Fuller
 Director of Strategic Initiatives, Suffolk County Water Authority

Chris Schubert
Supervisor Hydrologist, United States Geological Survey

Mary Anne Taylor
Vice President, CDM Smith

Peter Scully
Deputy County Executive, Suffolk County

Justin Jobin
Environmental Projects Coordinator, Suffolk County

Dr. Christopher Patrick
 Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University

John Cameron
Chairman, Long Island Regional Planning Council

Molly Graffam & Samantha Roberts
Research Assistants, Stony Brook Center for Clean Water Technology

Brian Schneider
 Deputy County Executive, Nassau County

Mary Wilson
Community Preservation Manager, Town of Southampton

James Tierney
Deputy Commissioner, NY Department of Environmental Conservation
Series of Victories for Long Island's Water
     January was a great month for Long Island's water! For the first month of the year, not only did voters in Babylon and Mastic approve the largest sewer expansion on Long Island since the 1970s, but Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an additional $2.5 billion to fight for clean water on Long Island and across the state. Both of these developments were greeted by the Pine Barrens Society, and its co-founded Long Island Clean Water Partnership (other founding members include Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Group for the East End and The Nature Conservancy) with enthusiasm for the progress they will make in the fight against Long Island's declining water quality.
     The January referendum for two sewer projects in Babylon and Mastic received an overwhelming 86 percent of the vote. While a third referendum in the community of Great River was rejected by a slim margin, the approved sewer expansion is one of Long Island's largest, with more than 6,500 residences planned to be added to sewers.   Altogether, an estimated $360 million will be allocated for the completion of these projects. The Pine Barrens Society, as part of its work with the Clean Water Partnership, were vocal advocates for this proposal. With more than 360,000 residences estimated to have aging septic systems and cesspools, and a serious problem with nitrogen pollution on Long Island, this referendum represents a great next step in the campaign to restore Long Island's waters.
     On January 15th, Governor Andrew Cuomo released his draft plan for the State's 2019 budget during his State of the State address. This plan doubled last year's historic Clean Water Infrastructure Act, with an additional $2.5 billion. This $5 billion investment in clean water over the next five years will undoubtedly work to improve water quality statewide. With much of the funding expected to be directed towards projects on Long Island, including the remediation of the Bethpage Plume, this announcement was determined to be a significant victory for Long Island and its residents!
Blog Post: Photographing the Pine Barrens 
     Like so many of the world's natural wonders, the Long Island Pine Barrens is a major source of inspiration for professional and amateur photographers alike.  As the Pine Barrens is a rare and diverse ecosystem, however, the methods to best capture the Pine Barrens by lens are equally as diverse and unique.  The next time you explore the Pine Barrens with camera in hand; take these helpful tips and accompanying examples into consideration to fully realize the photogenic nature of the Long Island Pine Barrens:
Take Photos During the "Golden Hour" or "Blue Hour"
     Taking photos during the height of the day can cause glare and overblown final products. For the best results, try to capture nature in the few minutes after sunrise or before sunset (Golden Hour) or when the sun is directly below the horizon (Blue Hour).  This method will not only improve your photos by reducing exposure problems, but by creating a stunning hue in the background of your photo. Both the "gold" and "blue" hues that these times create help produce longer shadows of the landscape's features and enhance the landscape. To find out the "Golden" and "Blue" hours for Long Island at specific points in the year, try one of the various calculators available online. For "Golden Hour" photographers, please visit: "Blue Hour" photographers may try
Take Advantage of the Sky as Background
     A nature photographer has one benefit that no other photographer has at his/her disposal: an ever present background. The sky is a perfect candidate for those looking for a good background to their photograph.  Not only do sky photographs look dramatic, but a clear sky allows one to emphasize a photographer's intended subject matter. To produce the best sky photographs, always keep the "exposure triangle" – shutter speed, ISO and aperture – in mind. Depending on the type of photograph you wish to shoot, consider the location of the sun in the sky. If you want a well exposed photograph, consider shooting with the sun directly behind you.
Ground Level is your Friend
     Capture nature from a different perspective by kneeling down and taking photographs from ground level. These low angles will allow your photographs to reach "new heights" in terms of variety and allure. For those wishing to invest in low angle photography, the best option is the use of a "ground pod", which allows one to place their camera directly on the ground while providing stability to the shot. For ease of use, it is also recommended that one purchases an angled viewfinder that allows photographers to be perfectly aligned at the lowest angles.
Look for the Smallest Things
     A creature's a creature no matter how small.  Related to finding low angles – nature photographers mustn't forget about the smallest of creatures. These creatures may often times be unknown to the general public and, therefore, subject to a great deal of interest. Nature photography, after all, is not only an art form, but a way to document our environment for the present public and for posterity . 
Don't Just Take Pictures for the Sake of It
     Rule number one in nature photography: be patient. Nature will not adjust for your photograph, so you must adjust to it. You never know when you are going to get a great picture. Photographers who go out into nature for the sole reason of taking photographs will not fully enjoy their time. Your first and foremost priority in nature photography must be  o experience and enjoy nature. If you find some great photo opportunities along the way, then you should celebrate. In the end, there is no right or wrong way of taking nature photographs as long as the photos capture the essence of the subject landscape or ecosystem.  Just have a great time, and don't forget to wear appropriate hiking boots and weather-appropriate clothing!
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Long Island Pine Barrens Society · 547 E Main St · Riverhead, NY 11901-7009 · USA

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