Long Island Pine Barrens Society
Environmental Non-Profit Organization
Long Island Pine Barrens Society is a non-partisan, not-for-profit environmental and advocacy organization focusing on protecting drinking water and preserving open space and dedicated to the study, appreciation and protection of the unique woodlands that are the Long Island Pine Barrens.
Founded in 1977, the Society has become one of Long Island's most effective champions of preserving natural resources through sound land use. Through its scientific research and public education programs, the Society has shaped public debate on the subject.
On Long Island, drinking water quality is influenced by one important factor: land use. Virtually all of Long Island's drinking water is drawn from a single system of underground reservoirs, known as aquifers. Any substance, be it rainwater or pollutants, that fall onto the ground influence the quality of water that we, the millions of Long Islanders, drink. This dependence has led the federal Environmental Protection Agency to designate our aquifer system as the nation’s first "sole source aquifer" requiring special protection. The Pine Barrens represent the source of the greatest quantity of the purest drinking water on Long Island, and we at the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, make it our mission to protect this groundwater.
While the accomplishments of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society are numerous, we are still active in the halls of state, county and local government, as well as in the courts. We are constantly pushing for needed action and winning an impressive list of victories. The Society is best known for leading the Pine Barrens Preservation Initiative - an ambitious, 10-year legal and legislative campaign. This initiative led to approval by the New York State Legislature of the Pine Barrens Protection Act and the Comprehensive Land Use Plan which permanently preserved more than 50,000 acres of Pine Barrens while directing strictly controlled development to the least sensitive areas.
While much progress has been made since our creation in 1977, our work is far from completed. Planners and policymakers anticipate Long Island will be saturated with development by 2020. This means that we, as residents, citizens and stewards of the environment, must make sound environmental policy and land use decisions in order to sustain future growth on Long Island.
The Society continues to press for public acquisition of privately held Pine Barrens land and are increasing our focus on stewardship of the protected Pine Barrens. We also remain committed to advocating for the preservation of open space in environmentally-sensitive areas Island-wide.
Our organization is the leading resource for education on this remarkable ecosystem. We offer informative lectures at local colleges and have launched an interactive web portal for elementary and middle school students. We appear in print and on radio and television to educate and advocate for land and water protection in the Pine Barrens and across Long Island. We produce an award-winning television program seen Island-wide on Cablevision, publish a top-quality newsletter, and maintain an informative web-site.
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