Hauppauge, NY – September 12, 2013 – Two resolutions directing the County to acquire critically sensitive environmental properties under the Suffolk County Drinking Water Protection Program, passed at the September 12th General Meeting. Co-sponsored by Legislator Sarah Anker and County Executive Steve Bellone, this legislation authorizes the preservation of nearly 65 acres of open space.
The Little Portion Friary, located in Mount Sinai, contains approximately 44 acres of forestwhich lies over a significant groundwater aquifer. The property is within the watershed of the Long Island Sound national estuary, and will protect the quantity and quality of groundwater recharge for drinking water purposes. The area also serves as a source of freshwater for the estuary system. The acquisition is a joint partnership with the Town of Brookhaven where Suffolk County is responsible for 75% of the cost and the town is responsible for 25% of the cost.
In addition to the property in Mount Sinai, a 24 acre parcel in Middle Island known as Country View Estates has passed through Legislator Anker’s sponsored resolution. Situated near the Pine Barrens, the parcel was originally slated for development of single family homes causing an even greater environmental impact in Middle Island.
“The preservation of these environmentally significant properties is another example of how working together with a common goal can further strengthen our efforts in the protection of water quality and open space,” said Legislator Anker. “The County and the Legislature have been in the forefront of land preservation and protecting environmentally sensitive parcels for decades. I will continue to work toward ensuring open space for future generations.”
“The protection of our drinking water is of paramount concern to the County,” said County Executive Steve Bellone. “I thank Legislator Anker for advocating for the preservation of these environmentally sensitive properties and for her commitment to open space preservation within Suffolk County.”
As a member of the Legislature’s Environmental Planning and Agriculture Committee and also the Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District Board, Anker has been a leading advocate for open space preservation. Through Anker’s legislative support, the County has preserved nearly 1,900 acres of land.