Suffolk County has long recognized the importance of managing and protecting its water resources and has developed and implemented drinking water and groundwater management regulations and programs for decades. Water resource management and protection are of utmost importance in Suffolk County, since residents rely upon groundwater as their sole source of drinking water supply. Because groundwater provides stream baseflow and discharges to surrounding coastal waters, the water quality of Suffolk County freshwater streams and marine waters is also directly affected by legislation enacted to protect groundwater and drinking water supplies.
County Executive Steven Bellone has directed that the 2011 Draft Plan be rewritten. The current draft Executive Summary now incorporates principles of coastal resiliency, including controlling nutrient inputs to enhance the health of wetlands and eelgrass. The Executive Summary also has a broader ecological perspective on nutrient impacts, addressing harmful algal blooms and shellfish. The fully revised Plan will include updates on water quality-related issues. Also, working with stakeholders, the County is developing more focused action plans. The Department of Economic Development and Planning is a lead partner in completing the plan, which will be reissued in 2014.
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