The purpose of the Water Quality Improvement Division is to protect and improve Suffolk County’s ground and surface waters. Protecting and maintaining the quality of our groundwater resources is especially important in Suffolk County because we are located above a federally designated Sole Source Aquifer system. This means that 100% of our drinking water comes from these natural underground reservoirs therefore preserving the integrity of our groundwater systems is critical for public health.
The protection and restoration of the vast arrays of surface waters in Suffolk County is extremely important in maintaining the ecosystem services that our natural aquatic environment provides. Suffolk County is surrounded by three vital estuary systems: the South Shore Estuary Reserve, the Peconic Estuary, and the Long Island Sound and contains numerous rivers, streams, tributaries, lakes, and ponds. Protecting and restoring Suffolk County’s fresh and salt water systems is crucial for preserving and benefiting the environmental, economic, aesthetic, and recreational advantages afforded to our community by our unique aquatic environment.
Supervises administers, and implements the ¼% sales tax funded Water Quality Protection and Restoration Program and Land Stewardship Initiatives (WQPRP) under Section 12-2 (B) of the Suffolk County Charter.
- Provides administrative and technical support to the WQPRP Review Committee which approves all funding through the WQPRP
Coordinates activities being performed by the County Department of Public Works and the County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation under Section 12-2 (B) of the Suffolk County Charter via personnel and / or consultants funded in those departments under the ¼% County Drinking Water Protection Program, Fund 477.
Oversees all water quality improvement projects approved for grant funding.
Represents the Commissioner at various public and governmental meetings.
Serves on numerous committees and task forces as required.
Maintain records and documents for all active Water Quality projects.
Secures funding assistance through Federal and State grant programs and administers grants awarded to the County for Water Quality projects and programs.
The Charter Law extending and accelerating the Suffolk County ¼% drinking water protection program for environmental protection was approved by the Suffolk County voters during November 2007. This law extended the ¼% sales tax revenue trust fund through November 30, 2030. An additional 0.50% share of the ¼% sales tax trust fund was implemented on December 1, 2007 to fund the Water Quality Protection and Restoration Program and Land Stewardship Initiatives (WQPRP). This raises the portion of the ¼% sales tax revenues apportioned to the WQPRP to 11.75%.
WQPRP -Through the WQPRP, Suffolk County has funded over $52 million in projects to reduce stormwater runoff, mitigate and prevent pollution of groundwater and surface waters, and to restore natural water habitats and wetlands.
Management of over 50 Active Projects - The Water Quality Improvement Division supervised 50 on-going water quality projects during 2018. The total funding to date for the projects funded through the Water Quality Protection and Restoration Program and Land Stewardship Initiatives (WQPRP) is approximately $52 million dollars.
Between 2016 and 2018, the WQPRP Review Committee approved $4.7 million in Enhanced Water Quality funding for an additional 14 projects.
During 2018, the WQPRP Review Committee approved nearly $2.4 million in 477 Water Quality funding for an additional 10 projects.
WQPRP Funding applications 2021
The Water Quality Improvement Division is pleased to issue a new Call for Applications for WQPRP funding during 2021. The application deadline is Friday, May 28, 2021 at 4:00PM. Please see the following documents for more information on the current Call for Applications and submission instructions: