The Accabonac Protection Committee (APC) has assembled a group of local experts who will discuss the area’s drinking water during a science-based public forum taking place on Tuesday, October 30.
“Drinking water supplies are under threat worldwide and East Hampton is no exception,” Francesca Rheannon, Accabonac Protection Committee President, noted. “Overdevelopment, leaking septic systems and agricultural chemicals are just a few of the pressures our water sources face. And recently we’ve learned of a new hazard: microplastics.”
Microplastics, which don’t break down, vary in scale ranging from a few millimeters to microscopic. They can originate from a myriad of sources, such as personal care products or the disintegration of larger plastic objects.
“These tiny plastic pieces act as magnets for chemical contaminants in the water. Since microplastics attract chemicals from the water, they provide a route for toxic chemicals to move into marine organisms,” Judith S. Weis, Marine Scientist and APC member, noted in an APC blog. “These tiny and often contaminated pieces of plastic get eaten by small plankton animals, as well as larger animals that eat by filtering the water, such as clams and oysters. In some smaller species, microplastics can block the digestive system and limit the amount of ‘real’ food these animals are consuming.”
Our Drinking Water: From the Ice Age To Our Tap, which will take place at Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton, will feature hydrologists Christopher Schubert of the USGS and Ty Fuller of the Suffolk County Water Authority, toxicologist Amy Juchatz of the Suffolk County Department of Health and environmental advocate Bob DeLuca, Group for the East End President and CEO.
“The East End’s exceptional water resources define our region,” DeLuca explained. “It drives our economy and will ultimately determine our quality of life in the future. However, these resources are in trouble.”
The Forum will commence with refreshments at 5:30 p.m., followed by the panel at 6 p.m. and a Q&A at 7 p.m.
“As a public we all have a responsibility to understand the nature of our water quality problems and what we can do to protect this precious resource for our needs today and for future generations,” DeLuca noted. “I look forward to participating in the Our Drinking Water: From the Ice Age To Our Tap Forum and sharing invaluable information that will help protect our waters.”
APC’s mission “is to restore, enhance and protect the ecological integrity of Accabonac Harbor and its watershed.”
“The Accabonac Protection Committee feels that an informed public is key to protecting our environment,” Rheannon noted. “We promote robust, science-based discourse to get out all the facts about the environmental hazards our local waters and water sources face. That’s why we invite the public to our free forum on Clean Drinking Water on October 30 at Ashawagh Hall in Springs.”
Admission to Our Drinking Water: From the Ice Age To Our Tap is free and the event is open to the public.
Ashawagh Hall is located at 780 Springs Fireplace Road in East Hampton. For more information, visit accabonac.org.