Friday, March 25, 2005

Two-Day Conference to Review Sound Cleanup Progress

The cleanup of Long Island Sound has been proceeding for more than 10 years, ever since the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan agreement was signed by the states and EPA in 1994. The work is broad-ranging, and it can be technical and difficult to make sense of, particularly when the question of water quality improvements is raised.

The people who are overseeing the work – the Management Committee of the Long Island Sound Study – apparently agree. They've decided to hold a two-day conference, on July 20 and 21, to look at the overall picture and to talk about what has and hasn’t been accomplished.

I think it’s a great idea, but one that should be planned with the public, as well as the Management Committee, in mind – adequate room; and presentations that aren’t so technical and jargon-laden that no one can understand them - and publicized widely.

The justification, according to a Management Committee memo, is basically that the committee is too busy during regular meetings to focus on the big picture, and that there’s not enough time in a single day to review and discuss everything.

“Existing Management Committee meetings are crammed with ongoing business. A special one-day meeting is inadequate to support both presentations and discussion. A forum is needed for extended discussion and interaction.”

(There's a summary on page 5 of this memo, although the attachment that I took the above quote doesn't seem to be part of it.)

Apparently the conference is still in the planning stages, but the general goals are to summarize the environmental conditions that the cleanup is focusing on, including accomplishments and shortcomings; review research and monitoring; and review priorities for 2006.

It seems as if no location has been chosen yet, although they might be considering SUNY Maritime College, at Throgs Neck.


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