Environmental initiatives discussed at town board meeting

Board appointed group makes recommendations to cut greenhouse emissions

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On Tuesday, May 10, a town board meeting was held at Islip Town Hall East.

While pandemic regulations had limited the number of occupants in the meeting room, this past board meeting invited dozens of residents from local Town of Islip schools who were being awarded for their achievements in the 2021-2022 school year.

Islip Town supervisor Angie Carpenter noted multiple causes that are highlighted in the month of May, including:

  • American Lung Association Turquoise Takeover. In honor of this initiative to stand against lung cancer, the leading cancer death in men and women, the Town Hall cupola was lit up in turquoise from May 8 to May 14. “The town is proud to stand with Lung Force to raise awareness of contributing factors and methods of early detection.”
  • National Photography Month. On Wednesday, May 18, the town held a meet-and-greet for photographers of all ages within the Town of Islip to have their work evaluated by a local Pulitzer Prize and Emmy-winning photographer.
  • Mental Health Awareness Month. Carpenter made note of how much mental health is a “primary focus of all generations, especially with pandemic and social isolation and social media.”

The supervisor reminded residents of the Keep Islip Thriving (KIT) initiative, which can grant up to $5,000 to small businesses or not-for-profits in the Town of Islip (called “the backbone of our community” by Carpenter) who have been negatively impacted financially by the pandemic.

Applications for the KIT grant can be found on the Town of Islip’s website and submitted via email to islipcovidgrants@islipny.gov or mailed to Town of Islip Economic Development, 40 Nassau Avenue, Islip 11751.

Barbara Kurick spoke during the public portion and recommended that the Town of Islip encourage residents sign up for community solar program. Citing a U.N. report that climate impacts are more widespread than thought to be and that as Long Islanders, sea level and saltwater intrusion were of paramount importance, Kurick stated that participating in community solar saved her household 12 to 16 percent on their electric bill.

Kurick implored that the town to get involved in spreading the message, albeit there are over half a dozen community solar programs in Suffolk that residents can opt into on their own, but that the town “has resources to educate, contacts with chambers, digital media, superintendents, press releases, and community fairs.”

Kurick said, “Residents have put trust in elected officials; they will believe you.”

Ginny Fields, chair of the Islip Town Environmental Council, who meets monthly to investigate environmental issues and liaise with experts in the field, is entrusted with providing sound advice to the town board, engaging with local youth groups and hosting community outreach, and spoke at length towards the end of the meeting to broadly outline the initiatives recommended by ITEC to the board. She also thanked commissioner Martin Blue and said he is “extremely dedicated, hardworking… [made Town of Islip] sustainable, prosperous, and resilient.” She cited his leadership in participation with the Great South Bay shellfish hatchery, bay-bottom leasing, and oyster shell recovery.

The initiatives outlined by ITEC were driven by a goal to comply with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act passed in New York state on July 18, 2019 that has the ambitious goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent in 2030 and 85 percent in 2050.

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