Sea Cliff Village Hall

Sea Cliff Village Hall


June 7, 2017

Sea Cliff Village Hall


Attendees: Tom Powell (Chair); Eric Swenson (Executive Director); Abby Kurlender (Roslyn Harbor); Noel Diehl (Glen Cove); Erin Reilley (North Hempstead); Kevin Braun (North Hempstead); Peedee Shaw (Roslyn); DanFucci (Nassau County); Tom Ryan (Oyster Bay); Catherine Chester (Sands Point); Bruce Kennedy (Sea Cliff Village Administrator); Robin Maynard (Sea Cliff Village Trustee);and Carol DiPaolo (Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor).

Call to Order

Eric Swenson called the meeting to order at 7:10 pm.

Review and Approval of Draft Minutes

A motion was made by Dan Fuccito approve the minutes of the meeting of March 15, 2017. Tom Ryan seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.

Administrative Matters & Announcements

Status of Efforts to Obtain Funding for Water Monitoring – Eric stated brought the Committee up to date on his efforts to obtain alternative funding sources for water-quality monitoring. These include:

  • A $125,000 earmark in the state’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) for the three north shore bays:
  • The NYS Senate included the provision in its proposed budget but the Assembly did not. That was not necessarily a deal breaker as it could be considered in the final negotiations as long as it remained in one of the versions of the budget. However, in the final negotiations, the Senate agreed to delete this and several other of its requests. Eric has since spoken to Assemblyman Englebright who assured him that he would support the measure next year.
  • Nassau County Comptroller’s Environmental Advisory Committee:
  • The Nassau County Comptroller is attempting to set up a meeting with the Nassau County Health Department to discuss increasing the assistance that they provide. No meeting date has been set.
  • Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP):
  • Eric was advised that the Long Island Regional Planning Council (which, along with the NYS DEC, is overseeing the LINAP, has agreed to assist the protection committees with funding and perhaps other services such as lab work and serving as a clearinghouse for water monitoring data. At the earliest, such funding and services would be available this Fall.
  • Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District (NCSWCD):
  • The NCSWCD has awarded the HHPC with $17,000 for its 2017 water monitoring program. This is enough to restore the program to its original scope of weekly monitoring.
  • Federal Funding:
  • Eric noted that he, Tom, Erin and Carol were among a couple dozen attendees from New York and Connecticut that travelled by chartered bus to Washington on April 26th. The group met with 13 Congressional members, Senators and/or their staffs including a joint meeting with the three Co-Chairs of the Long Island Sound Caucus (Reps. Zeldin, Suozzi, and DeLauro). He was pleased to report that a few days after that trip, the Congress approved a budget of $8 million for Long Island Sound which was more than double last year’s appropriation. This increase allowed the Long Island Sound Futures Fund to double its available grant funding for this year. Contrary to last year, this year’s grant funding will allow funding for water monitoring programs like ours. Eric noted that the President has since submitted his proposed budget for 2017 – 2018 (which begins on October 1st) and it again calls for zero funding for Long Island Sound. Another trip to Washington is planned for September.

2017 DuesStatus– Eric stated that the Committee has received 2017 dues payments from all members except the Villages of Roslyn, Sands Point and Sea Cliff and from Nassau County. He pointed out that these villages typically pay after the start of their fiscal year which is June 1st. Dan Fucci said that he has begun the approval process for the County’s portion and expects it to be in place shortly.

Approval of Agreement with the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor for 2017/2018 Water Monitoring – Eric stated the agreement between the Village of Sea Cliff and the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor has been approved and signed by Mayor Lieberman. Carol DiPaolo will sign and notarize the agreement at Village Hall and send Eric a scanned copy.

Status of Joint Protection Committee Meeting – Eric mentioned that after much discussion with the other protection committees and discussion with Rep. Suozzi’s staff, an agreement could not be reached that worked for all parties. The group is back to the starting gate. Eric suggested that the protection committee directors get together and strategize over areas of joint concern. Kevin Braun stated that he preferred an event with a speaker as we have done in the past.

Proposed Long Island Sound Summit – Eric stated that when they met in Washington with Rep. Suozzi, that he suggested that this Fall might be an appropriate time to hold a Long Island Sound Summit like the one that he and Donnel Malloy (then Mayor of Stamford and now Connecticut Governor) organized. Since then Assemblyman Englebright has offered to assist in organizing it. Eric and George Hoffman (Setauket Harbor Task Force) are recommending an event in September or October to coincide with the federal budget discussions and Eric has prepared a draft agenda which focuses on accomplishments over the past 20 years and then looks ahead. The target audience, like last time, would be Mayors and Supervisors and their staffs. Eric stated that it is possible that both Governors would attend. He has asked a number of organizations to sign on as supporters and would like the Committee to do so also. No financial commitment is requested at this time. Earlier in the day the Oyster Bay / Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee and the Village of Bayville Environmental Conservation Commission approved it. Tomorrow the Manhasset Bay Protection Committee and the Long Island Sound Study Citizens Advisory Committee are expected to also approve it. Tom Powell made a motion to support it. Erin Reilley seconded the motion and all approved.

Proposed Replacement of Coastal Sign – Kevin Braun stated that one of our coastal interpretive signs on the Hempstead Harbor Trail had been vandalized and unable to be repaired. He requested that the Committee fund the cost of reproducing it. Eric mentioned that we have funds in the North Hempstead account that could be used for this. After discussion Dan Fucci moved to approve up to $1,000 to replace the sign. Tom Powell seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

Ideas for Cleanup of Debris by the Atria in Roslyn – Peedee Shaw reported that there an accumulation of debris along the water in Roslyn Creek below the waterfront trail by the Atria condominium complex and asked if there were a way to clean it up. It was thought that it could best be reached by kayak. Carol DiPaolo mentioned that the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor will be holding another kayak cleanup day on July 15th. Eric suggested that a launching site could be established at Cedarmere like last year. Eric will bring the proposal before the Friends of Cedarmere Board meeting on June 12th.[note that the Friends of Cedarmere have since approved the use of the site for the event].

Water Monitoring Program Update

2016 - 2017 Program – Carol stated that she has completed the winter monitoring program and is working on the Annual Report.

2017 - 2018 Program - Carol noted that she has begun the 2017 – 2018 program which is now in its third week. The Town of Oyster Bay took her out the first two weeks and the Town of North Hempstead took her out this week and will be doing so for the next 11 weeks, at which point the Town of Oyster Bay will assist again. She stated that on her first trip out, she observed a large mud-colored discharge from an outfall on the north side of Glen Cove Creek near the sewage pump station. She notified the Glen Cove Harbormaster, the Nassau County Health Department and the NYS DEC (as well as Eric) and took samples for the health department. She brought photos which she displayed on a laptop. She also noted that during testing this morning she observed dye in the water. Noel Diehl stated that she was aware of the dye testing but could not provide further details at this point. Carol also pointed out that after not seeing the white opaque discharge that had been occasionally seen on the south side of the Creek for a while, the discharge was observed again. She also noted that saw and photographed black skimmers in the harbor. This would apparently be the third location in the state where they have been spotted. She also noted that there are now 9 known osprey nests in the harbor. Finally, she noted that the Gladsky marine salvage yard in the center of the harbor has again expanded to include an ice barge and a house on a barge.

Unified Water Study (UWS) Monitoring Program – Carol noted that the Long Island Funders Collaborative (LISFC) has provided her and others with a brand new monitoring device (with a value of about $12,000) that monitors dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll A, turbidity, and salinity for use in the UWS program. She purchased a additional unit for it that will test for pH. This program is being funded by the LISFC and run separately by the CSHH as it requires different time of day sampling, etc. She is also revising the EPA QAPP to reflect the new equipment and its procedures.

Project Updates

C.E.S.S.P.O.O.L. Project – Eric noted that the Village of Mill Neck has placed a link to the “Get Pumped LI” website on its homepage. He encouraged other municipalities to do the same. He also noted that materials were available to residents at HarborFest which was held on Sunday, June 4th.

NY American Water Grant – Roslyn native garden– Eric noted that he and Master Gardener Reese Michaels met with Roslyn officials including Mayor Durkin on June 2nd. A location was picked for the raised native garden. It will be along the walkway by the water. The designs will be worked up over the summer and planting will take place in the cooler months in the Fall.

Scudder’s Pond Phragmites Removal– Eric noted that Solitude Lake Management has received the necessary permits and will be scheduling the treatment shortly.

Powerhouse Drain Subwatershed– Eric stated that he is continuing to review the recommendations contained in the subwatershed plan and ways in which they can be carried out.

Sewer Feasibility Study– Eric stated that Nassau County has completed the study and that he just received a copy and has not had a chance to completely read through it yet. He noted that the copy he received did not contain a recommendations section. Eric passed around a copy. Erin Reilley also pointed out the portion dealing with Glenwood Landing was left blank. Eric will contact Brian Schneider to ensure that he has the most recent copy.

Long Island Sound Study Citizens Advisory Committee

Eric noted that the next meeting of the CAC will take place on June 8th in Bridgeport. He and Carol plan to attend.

Nassau County Soil & Water Conservation District

Eric noted that the District approved $17,000 for the Committee’s 2017 water monitoring program.

Friends of Cedarmere

Tom Powell noted that the Friends just held a successful spring planting event with the help of the Nassau County Cornell Cooperative Extension master gardeners.

Municipal Updates

Glen Cove – Noel noted that the City’s Community Development Authority will be applying through the state’s Consolidated Funding Application process for funds to construct a tidal gate at Dosoris Pond. This gate is expected to improve conditions in the pond with the ultimate goal of being able to de-list it from the state’s “303(d)” impaired water body designation.

Nassau County – nothing to report.

Oyster Bay – Tom noted that the Town is close to completing its Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) for its waterfront land around Hempstead Harbor, Oyster Bay Harbor and South Oyster Bay. They expect to have a public comment period in the near future.

Sands Point – nothing to report.

Sea Cliff – nothing to report.

Roslyn Harbor – Abby Kurlender stated that there is a proposal to subdivide a 5 acre property known as the McLaughlin property south of Cedarmere. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement was prepared. There are currently 2 houses on the property and the plans call for 2 more.

Roslyn – Peedee mentioned that Canada geese are becoming an increasing problem.

North Hempstead – Erin Reilley noted that the Town’s grant to map the drainage systems of 22 municipalities is well underway. Their consultant, Sidney Bowne, has just digitized all records and now they are field-verifying the information. The Town has also begun a public education campaign for stormwater utilizing hydrophobic paint (it only appears when it is raining or is wet). A press conference will take place on June 13th at which both Eric and Carol will be speaking. The Town is also preparing a Public Service Announcement on illicit discharges and littering. Kevin Braun noted that a section of the lower harbor will be cleaned of floating debris and replanted with spartina. The cleanup will take place on Friday, June 9th and the planting will take place on Monday, June 12th and Tuesday, June 13th. He asked for volunteers to assist. Erin also mentioned that the Town has incubated quail eggs so that they could have quails to help control ticks. The hatchlings were transferred to the State which is now raising them. Finally, Erin announced that this was her last meeting as she is moving to Denver. The Committee thanked her for her service.

Sea Cliff –nothing to report.

Other Items

Kayak Coastal Cleanup – Carol DiPaolo announced that the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor will be holding its second annual Kayak Coastal Cleanup on July 15th with expected locations in Sea Cliff and North Hempstead Beach Park (and Cedarmere). Kevin will check into a waiver of parking fees for participants at North Hempstead Beach Park.

Vineyard Vines Shopping Day – Carol also announced that on June 24th, a portion of the sales from anyone shopping at Vineyard Vines will go to the Coalition.

Coastal Cleanup in September – Carol also noted that the Coalition is planning a harbor cleanup for sometime in September as part of the International Coastal Cleanup. Details will be provided closer to that date.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 9:15 pm


June 8th – L.I. Sound Study Citizen’s Advisory Committee meeting – Bridgeport CT

June 8th – Training Session on Innovative / Alternative Onsite Wastewater Systems – Cold Spring Harbor

July 24th – Hike on the Hempstead Harbor Shoreline Trail – 9:00 am (may be changed to beach walk due to ticks)

August 7th – Hike on the Hempstead Harbor Shoreline Trail – 9:00 am (may be changed to beach walk due to ticks)

October 1st – Sea Cliff Mini Mart

NEXT MEETING: September 13th at Sea Cliff Village Hall