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Aug 19, 2019 4:23 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Officials Tout Efforts To Move Toward Environmentally Sustainable Path

Sustainable Southampton Green Advisory Committee member Victoria Gorman takes Christopher and Isabella Glorioso and her daughter Marchella out for ride in the electric runabout boat. DANA SHAW
Aug 19, 2019 5:11 PM

So, what does a 14-foot classic lake runabout have to do with sustainability?

Plenty, when you find out that the boat is battery-powered, all but silent, and doesn’t spit out any polluting exhaust or leak any gas or oil into the water.

The boat, which is manufactured by Beau Lake and carries a price tag of $35,000, also helped draw a couple of dozen people to Conscience Point Marina in North Sea on Monday, where Southampton officials used the occasion to tout efforts to steer the town toward an environmentally sustainable path.

“We can no longer afford to be stewards of the environment. That’s a luxury we don’t have anymore,” said Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone, who cited alarming statistics about global warming and the melting of glaciers in Greenland and Iceland. “We really need to be soldiers for the environment.”

Referring to the boat, Mr. Zappone cited “emerging technology like the one on exhibit today” as signs that both manufacturers and consumers are getting the message that climate change is real and poses serious threats to civilization.

“We’ve in many ways known we are reaching this point,” added Town Councilman John Bouvier. “We’ve known that for some time and have turned a deaf ear on its many times. We are reaching a crisis point we have to react to.”

Mr. Bouvier cited rising sea levels, the acidification of the ocean, and saltwater intrusion into the aquifer as some of the more pressing concerns.

Fortunately, Southampton is a leader in efforts to combat climate change and adopt sustainable policies on the local level, he added, pointing out the town has adopted a policy of obtaining 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and being carbon neutral by 2040.

It is making headway toward those goals, he said, by doing things like replacing its 1,778 streetlights with LED lights that have saved the town $268,000 and reduced the energy used by half. The town is replacing vehicles with electric and hybrid vehicles, has installed solar panels in the Tiana Beach pavilion and is looking for more places where solar would be effective.

Last week, the town named Joules Assets as administrator of its new Community Choice Aggregation program, which will allow residents the option of buying their power from renewable sources. Its Solarize Southampton program has tripled the number of homes with solar panels, and other programs like the Tri-Energy have been able to encourage 75 percent of the people who attend its events to sign up for a free home energy audit.

The town is also taking important steps to encourage battery storage in homes and businesses as another way to reduce the amount of fossil-fuel-based energy it consumes.

Town Trustee Ann Welker also addressed the audience, asking it to look behind her. There, across the inlet, was a house with a natural marsh fringe along its shoreline, while next door another house had a wooden bulkhead.

Ms. Welker said natural shorelines do a better job absorbing the tidal surge of storms and said the Trustees are urging residents to explore the option of what she called “living shorelines” rather than seeking to restore aging bulkheads.

With that, attendees strolled down to the pier and took turns riding in the little blue boat that had brought them there in the first place.

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Jays car first. The bay constables boats and cars, Town PD cars, highway vehicles...
SHV banned leaf blowers, how many summonens have been issued??? I hear them all day, no enforcement.
Ann is living in a fantasy world of her own..
By knitter (1854), Southampton on Aug 19, 19 6:37 PM
SHTB is the same leadership who allows over development on the east end. The HB overlay district prop by Southampton Land Management is one prime example to build 250 apt, cut down over 10 acres and allow a possible waste treatment facility that will spill into the creeks and bays.

No statement from Town Trustees as of yet. This is fake news "promo" junk on our environment.by the Supervisor, Deputy Supervisor, SHTB and Trustees.

By Hamptonsway (93), Southampton on Aug 19, 19 8:51 PM
Unfortunately for the real world, there is pollution associated with $35,000 electric boats. Electric boats, "no matter how groovy, require mines. In addition to copper and other metals, batteries require rare earth minerals (used also in cell phones, solar panels, wind turbines, and a host of other high-tech devices). Nearly all of these rare arths are mined in China. Nearly half of all rare earths mined in China are mined near the city of Baotou and most of this is from one open pit mine more ...more
By Aeshtron (387), Southampton on Aug 20, 19 7:57 PM
Sustainable? Let's talk about that misused abused word. Let's see, we can sustain the over-development that happened 30 years ago, we can sustain the blue-green algae polluted lakes and ponds; we can sustain the sewage being dumped into our bays; we can sustain our overuse of chemicals in the landscape to control weeds and maintain the artificial landscapes that are improperly installed; we can sustain the ever increasing traffic on the roads and in the air. It is just sickening that all ...more
By sstorch (38), water milll on Aug 24, 19 7:07 AM
1 member liked this comment
Not with that attitude it won't.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (7633), HAMPTON BAYS on Aug 24, 19 8:18 AM
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