Basil Seggos

After reef therapy, LI waterways feeling much better

By GREGORY ZELLER // New York State’s artificial-reef program has migrated north, with a fresh deployment of inorganic materials creating a new “marine habitat” in the Long Island Sound. One year after dumping hundreds of tons of recycled materials three miles off the South Shore – including chunks of the blowed-up-real-good Tappan Zee Bridge – Albany’s Artificial Reef Initiative is looking to increase fishing and recreational opportunities off Nassau County’s North Shore with a similar…


Albany bags plastics, as single-use sacks get the sack

By GREGORY ZELLER // It tolls for thee, plastic bags. Governor Andrew Cuomo rang the death knell Monday for single-use plastic bags in New York State – outlawed as of next March, even for holdouts content to spend a nickel per bag at the supermarket checkout. No more, as of March 2020, when the single-use sacks – which “do not degrade and often wind up as litter on lands and in waters,” according to the…


Acid test: SBU-heavy task force tackles oceanic threat

By GREGORY ZELLER // Long Island is well-represented on a new state task force assigned to assess and address the health of coastal waters. Stony Brook University, in particular, will be lending significant scientific acumen to the 14-member Ocean Acidification Task Force, which was formed to study the ecological and economic impacts of acidification – increased levels of carbonic acid in the water, caused by dissolved carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, land-based nutrient runoff and…


With artificial reefs, loving that sinking feeling

By GREGORY ZELLER // A 744-acre site located three nautical miles off Long Island’s South Shore will become a haven for all manners of aquatic life, thanks to the deployment of recycled materials. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced the deployment of materials to create a new marine habitat at Hempstead Reef, which is now part of the largest artificial-reef expansion in state history – and part of Albany’s ongoing efforts to develop a more…


Nothing to fear, unless you’re a radiological terrorist

By GREGORY ZELLER // Pay no attention to that imposing fleet of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard and New York State Naval Militia vessels massing off the East End. Governor Andrew Cuomo wants you to know that the sudden buildup of maritime forces – and the presence of some 100 personnel from 23 local, state and federal agencies, many specializing in radiological detection – is proactive, not reactive. Cuomo’s office on Wednesday announced the start…


Testing, testing everywhere, to keep it safe to drink

By GREGORY ZELLER // Albany is diving deeper into Long Island’s groundwater plumes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday directed the state Department of Environmental Conservation to expedite containment of groundwater plumes in Nassau County, starting with an “immediate engineering investigation,” according to the governor’s office. The plumes were created through years of industrial solvents leaking into the groundwater at a Bethpage site once jointly occupied by the U.S. Navy and defense contractor Northrop Grumman. The…


Law kept 318M pounds of e-waste from landfills

More than 318 million pounds of electronic waste was diverted from landfills in the first three years of New York’s electronics recycling law, state officials announced, but junked televisions and computer monitors are posing a major problem for municipalities tasked with dealing with the so-called e-waste. Basil Seggos, the acting commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, said in a statement that DEC will provide funds to help local governments deal with the mounting piles of cathode ray…