“Each man kills the thing he loves,” wrote Oscar Wilde. As the geese that delight us as they preen and forage in our waters, yet spoil our pools and yards, as we flock to the Hamptons, we, too leave waste in our wakes. Would that the Group for the East End were not so vital. But, lest we completely destroy the natural resources that draw us, we support their steward, The Group for the East End (G4EE). The Group’s annual Swing Into Summer Benefit, at The Bridge in Bridgehampton, drew more than 250 well heeled supporters, and raised about a half a million dollars.
“Our waters, beaches, open fields, agriculture and wildlife, less than 100 miles from NYC, is almost impossible to find,” Group for the East End President, Bob DeLuca told us. “It’s easy to forget that every single day there are threats from overdevelopment. We don’t have a bunch of urban infrastructure to take care of things like run off and sewage. So, when you come here there’s a hope that you’ll start to live more in harmony with the natural environment.”
The nitrogen from outdated septic tanks; the chemicals from pesticides and fertilizers. “All of these things go directly in to the ground,” DeLuca reminded. “Many of them turn up in our wells and our water supply, and then our surface waters.” Once pristine bays and harbors now host red tides and blue-green algae. “So, again,” said DeLuca, “we are reminding people to live lightly on the land. You may not need a forest green lawn in the middle of February.”
The G4EE concentrates their efforts on advocacy — making new laws that better protect the environment and seeing that laws that exist are better enforced — education across all five East End towns — including 75 percent of the schools — and habitat restoration work to protect wildlife species.
It’s a slow process to update existing septic systems. “But,” said DeLuca, “the good news is: last year we were able to get the local community preservation fund to be expanded to allow the towns to provide money to help people install those systems.” Check it out. You may be entitled. Our land certainly is.
For more information, visit www.groupfortheeastend.org.