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Nitrogen Pollution

Long Island waters are threatened by nitrogen pollution.  

In 2015, New York State appropriated $5 million to develop LINAP. The Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) is a multiyear initiative to reduce nitrogen in Long Island’s surface and ground waters by DEC, the Long Island Regional Planning Council (LIRPC), and Suffolk and Nassau counties, with input from multiple partners and stakeholders.

The Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan will establish a strategy on how best to reduce nitrogen pollution in Long Island’s waters. LINAP will determine how best to reduce nitrogen loading to groundwater and surface water through technical, management, and regulatory/policy actions. Nitrogen is the leading cause of water quality deterioration in Long Island’s estuaries. It comes primarily from wastewater and fertilizer. Effluent from onsite wastewater disposal systems (cesspools and septic systems) reaches groundwater, which ultimately reaches the bays and estuaries. Excess nitrogen causes toxic algal blooms that lead to low oxygen conditions, fish kills, and degraded wetlands and marine habitats. Nitrogen also contaminates the groundwater which is the sole source of Long Island’s drinking water.

Information obtained by the Dept  of Environmental Conservation https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/113728.html