Soil & Water Conservation Districts hold Long Island Green Infrastructure Conference & Expo at Brookhaven National Laboratory
New York Sea Grant a Sponsor of this 1st Annual Conference focusing on ‘Protecting Our Water Resources’
Barbara Branca, New York Sea Grant, Communications Manager, P: 631.632.6956, E: Barbara.Branca@stonybrook.edu
Eileen Keenan, New York Sea Grant, NEMO Program Manager, E: email@example.com
Stony Brook, NY June 6, 2012 - The first annual Long Island Green Infrastructure Conference will be hosted at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) on Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The conference will provide municipal officials, planners, consultants, property owners, developers, and others with the information they need to understand and implement the latest innovations in water resource protection. Known as green infrastructure practices, such methods go beyond traditional practices in protecting water quality, improving aesthetics and quality of life, and providing for wildlife habitat. Professional education credits are being offered by both the Suffolk County Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Long Island Chapter of the United States Green Building Council.
The conference has been organized by the Nassau and Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation Districts (NCSWCD and SCSWCD) with the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, Long Island Chapter of the United States Green Building Council, Manhasset Bay Protection Committee, New York Sea Grant, Suffolk County Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the Oyster Bay / Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee. These entities all work to protect and restore water resources and join together to deliver a regional forum to promote green infrastructure.
Brian Zimmerman, NCSWCD District Manager said, “When we started talking to our contacts in other groups, the excitement to create this event started to build.” Paul TeNyenhuis, District Manager of SCSWCD said, “This first annual conference will provide Long Island with a long needed focus on environmentally friendly green infrastructure practices.”
As noted by Brookhaven Lab Director Sam Aronson, “This conference dovetails with our dedication to sustainable building practices and natural resource protection. BNL has focused on lowering the environmental impact of the campus where we have five Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified buildings. As a result, our facilities conserve energy, reduce water usage and greenhouse gas emissions, and provide for stormwater management.”
Green infrastructure (GI) includes a range of practices that are used as alternatives to traditional building and stormwater management methods. The 2012 Long Island GI conference will cover green roofs, rain gardens, and porous pavements among the examples of its practices. GI promotes land conservation, water body buffers, and reduced imperviousness, as well as stormwater capture, and filtration.
The conference will help Long Island municipalities and facility managers to control stormwater runoff from existing and future development and from intense storm events. Expected attendees are elected officials and board members, municipal engineers, consultants and planners, landscape architects, regional planners and development business leaders. The conference will bring together this diverse audience to discuss what has been done successfully in the region, how green infrastructure can be used as an effective means of protecting Long Island’s valuable groundwater and coastal resources, and how these methods can be funded.
The keynote speaker is Neil Rosen, director of Sustainable Development at North Shore LIJ Health System. With sixteen hospitals in its system, NSLIJ has committed to creating a sustainable healthy environment for the NSLIJ community. As explained by Rosen, “Not only do LEED certification and green practices help save energy and reduce pollution, they have been demonstrated to promote wellness.”
Ed Romaine, Suffolk County District 1 Legislator, will kick-off the conference with opening remarks. Additional confirmed conference speakers include Lanny Bates of Brookhaven National Laboratory, Eileen Keenan of New York Sea Grant, Kathy Macri of the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation, Brian Steinmuller of the NYS Soil and Water Conservation Committee, Brian Schneider of the Nassau County DPW, David Kvinge of Westchester County Department of Environmental Protection, Rob Crauderueff of the Stormwater Infrastructure Matters Coalition, Robert Alvey, USEPA Geologist, and Margot Walker of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection Green Infrastructure Division.
Sponsored by Cashin Associates, Nelson, Pope and Voorhis, Fuss & O’Neil, D & B, Engineers and Architects, P.C and New York Sea Grant, the conference will provide water resource management, planning, and development professionals with important training that will enable them to more effectively address the environmental concerns of their constituents and clients.
James Ammerman, director of New York Sea Grant (NYSG) observed, “This conference is an important vehicle for disseminating the up-to-date technical information that is needed by the land use decision makers and engineers whose responsibility it is to stay current with the latest approaches to water resource protection.”
Ammerman cites NYSG’s NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) program, based at Stony Brook University, as a valuable asset to Long Island officials. NYSG NEMO, overseen by NYSG's Eileen Keenan, facilitates achievement of federal stormwater regulatory compliance.
NYSG NEMO, a program of NYSG, is a member of the National NEMO Network. The NEMO Program was created in 1991 at the University of Connecticut, as a collaboration of the Cooperative Extension System, the Connecticut Sea Grant College Program and the Natural Resources Management and Engineering Department. NEMO programs nationwide are at the forefront in addressing some of the most pressing land use and water quality issues local governments face and they are widely recognized for providing effective tools, expertise, and assistance to local decision makers seeking to protect coastal resources.
More information on NYSG NEMO can be found at www.nyseagrant.org/nemo
New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, is one of 32 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NSGCP engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting scientific research, education, training and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources. Through its statewide network of integrated services, NYSG has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources since 1971.
For more information on the Long Island Green Infrastructure Conference & Expo, please visit ligiconference.org