Southampton Town Sustainability Plan

Sustainable East End looks at issues of land and energy use, water resources,  transportation and the food industries on the north and south forks of Long Island with host Francesca Rheannon. 

It airs on the 2nd Thursday each month at 12 Noon

June 13, 2013:

We talked with Dr. Scott Carlin, co-chair of  the Sustainable Southampton Advisory Committee (aka the “Green Committee”) about the committee’s  Sustainability Plan for the town and the controversy it has generated.

Dr. Carlin, formerly of Southampton College of Long Island University teaches about sustainability issues at LIU's C.W. Post campus in Brookville.

The Town's sustainability plan has been criticized in a letter to the Southampton Press as recommending policy that would diminish property owners' rights and
that the plan was part of a United Nations plan called Agenda 21.

In our talk Carlin explains how the plan was developed by dialog between the committee and local individuals and groups.  

Listen here


May 9, 2013

We talk with Gordian Raacke, director of RELI – Renewable Energy Long Island

Renewable Energy Long Island describes itself as a "membership-based, non-for-profit organization promoting clean, sustainable energy use and generation for Long Island."

RELI provides information to consumers and contractors and publishes a green business directory, the Long Island GreenGuide in print and online

April 11, 2013

Are we running out of farmland?  -
In a land where potatoes once covered the landscape, traditional farming on the east end has given way to luxury housing over the last decades.

The Peconic Land Trust was started in 1983 to ensure the protection of Long Island’s working farms, natural lands, and heritage.

John v. H. Halsey, President and founder of the Trust was brought up on a traditional farm in Southampton Town. 
Francesca Rheannon spoke with Halsey recently about land preservation efforts of the Peconic LandTrust, the demise of traditional farms, how community supported agriculture was developed by the Land Trust and what can be done to keep protected land in farming.

More information about the trust is at
 March 14, 2013

Sea Scout Shellfish Project in Southampton's North Sea Harbor

A continuing problem on the east end for several years has been the deterioration of the water quality in our bays and estuaries. This has devastated the livelihood of baymen who harvest scallops, clams and oysters in our waters.

Recently on this program we talked with Ruben Bess Valdez of the Shinnecock Shellfish Hatchery about the challenge of growing oysters alongside waters polluted by nitrates from household septic systems. 

Now, a new project has been launched to build a shellfish hatchery in the waters of North Sea Harbor in Southampton.  Its developers want to use oysters themselves to help clean the waters they grow in.

Josh Belury who commutes between Texas and Southampton was trained in marine biology at the Southampton College Marine Science Program – now part of Stony Brook University. He has been a teacher for the blind and a building contractor. In his spare time he is a leader in the Sea Scout movement which launched the shellfish project last summer.

Francesca Rheannon spoke with Josh recently about this work.


February 14, 2013

We continue our conversation with south fork architect Bill Chaleff about issues related to water supply pollution including how the settlement pattern on the east end impacts the options to clean our environment.

What to do about the degradation of our ground water and estuaries by thousands of individual household septic systems has been in the news recently.  The East Hampton Town Board considered recommendations from consultants in December.  

Chaleff started the discussion by noting that there are hidden issues not usually considered when we talk about a subject – he calls these ‘externalities’.

Here is an update on the issues discussed today: 

As reported in North Fork Patch, last week, the Suffolk County Legislature approved funding for a pilot study of clustered wastewater treatment alternatives for the Peconic Estuary Watershed.  

Peconic Green Growth, will conduct the study under direction of the Suffolk Division of Environmental Planning. 

County Executive Steve Bellone says he agrees with advocates like  Peconic Baykeeper Kevin McAllister, heard on this program last year.  McAllister says that evidence suggests a link between onsite individual residential wastewater treatment systems and water quality within the estuary. 
December 13, 2012

One month after Hurricane Sandy tore through our region, communities are asking questions about how we can adapt to future storms and sea level rise.

Francesca talks with Nate Waiwode, a policy adviser for the Nature Conservancy in East Hampton, New York. He deals with marine coastal climate change issues and co-leads the Nature Conservancy’s state and regional climate adaptation efforts.

More information on the work of the Nature Conservancy on coastal resilience issues for New York and Connecticut can be found on line at

Listen here

November 8, 2012

Today we talk with two people who have devoted their lives to looking at the survival of the the ocean around us and the fish that help to sustain our east end economy. 

Our guests are Susan Rockefeller, film maker and member of the board of the international organization Oceana devoted to ocean conservation and Carl Safina of the Blue Ocean Institute.  

We talked with Susan this fall as her film Mission of Mermaids: A love letter to the ocean, debuted at the Hamptons International Film Festival in East Hampton.

We talked with marine ecologist and director of the Blue Ocean Institute, Carl Safina about his book The View from Lazy Point: A natural year in an unnatural world.  Lazy Point is a low lying area in Amagansett New York that was flooded in November 2012 by Hurricane Sandy. 
More information about Susan Rockefeller’s film Mission of Mermaids can be found on line at

Information about the work of the international ocean conservation organization Oceana is at

Information about Carl Safina’s work and the Blue Ocean Institute’s is at
Listen here

September 13, 2012 

Ruben Bess Valdez talks about the Shinnecock Shellfish Hatchery and pollution of the bays.

The people of the Shinnecock Indian Nation have been harvesting
shellfish from the waters of what is now Southampton for millennia.

Tony Ernst, Sustainable East End co-producer  talks with Ruben
Bess Valdez, of the Shinnecock Shellfish Hatchery about the
challanges to developing the oyster business in the face of increasing
pollution of the waters surrounding the reservation.
More information about the Shinnecock Nation and the shellfish hatchery is available at

More information about efforts to clean up the waters of the east end can be found at

Sustainable East End is produced by Gwynn Schroeder, Tony Ernst and the program host, Francesca Rheannon.


Shinnecock Shellfish Hatcheries 
Back in the 1980’s, the Shinnecock Indian Nation ran a Tribally owned and operated shellfish hatchery which was successful for approximately 10 years, until much of Long Island was adversely affected by the Brown Tide that devastated much of the shellfish industry on the Island. The building from which this Tribal economic development project ran also was one of the first solar paneled buildings on Long Island and was noted for its high-energy efficiency. In the summer of 2004, a small group of determined Shinnecock Tribal Members decided it was time to reassess and evaluate the possibility of beginning a new shellfish hatchery based on re-seeding of the Shinnecock Bay with oyster spawn. With initial funding from the Long Island Community Foundation, and later on the Horace Hagedorn Foundation, Kraft Environmental Family Fund and finally, the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) DHHS, Washington, D.C., the Hatchery was re-born. Today, the Bay has produced thousands of succulent and healthy oysters as well as clams and other shellfish. With pending funding requests, there is a lucrative market for the Shinnecock shellfish whereby once re-established and operational will provide the Nation with a self-sustaining and culturally relevant source of Tribal income. In addition to being a source of economic development, the Hatchery will contain an environmental component of educating Shinnecock and non-Native students alike to the important field of aquaculture and related sciences


August 9, 2012

Host Francesca Rheannon talks with Bridgehampton restaurateur Bruce Buschel about his concept of serving ‘sustainable organic locally sourced food.


June 14, 2012

On the third program in the series we talk with Peconic Baykeeper Kevin McAllister about contamination of groundwater, bays and estuaries on the east end by our household septic systems.

Environmental activist Gwynn Schroeder of Cutchogue joins the program along with producers Francesca Rheannon and Tony Ernst.


The second program in the series Sustainable East End will air on WPKN Radio 89.5 FM on Thursday, May 10 at 12 Noon and will be available on line at

On the May 10 program we talk with East Hampton’s ‘Green Architect’ Bill Chaleff about his work, issues of land use, town planning, affordable housing and pollution of the east end’s water supply and its effect on the fishing industry.

Audio available here. 


On the first program Francesca talks with Scott Chaskey, director of the Peconic Land Trust’s Quail Hill Farm, a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm. Mr. Chaskey talks about the several farms operating on lands donated to the Trust and how community supported agriculture works, and issues related to genetically modified crops.


Radio producer at WPKN 89.5 FM - East End Ink, Sustainable East End, North Fork Works, Tidings from Hazel Kahan,