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Clean environment Island event changes focus: Aim is to target local efforts, not vendors

The Green Options Committee has shifted its focus for this month’s Green Expo from demonstrations by outside vendors to Town and area groups engaged in environmental protection efforts.

The Expo returns to the grounds of the Community Center on Saturday, Aug. 20, with participants on hand to talk about their work, provide information and engage with people to address issues of concern.

The greening of the Island was once a subject propelled by a few advocates who worried about global warming and the need to adapt to changes. The message has gotten through on several fronts.

Today, North and South ferry companies have worked to raise access platforms to their boats in response to rising water levels.

The Town Board has begun purchases of electric vehicles and increasing number of business and residential property owners have added solar panels to decrease their costs and dependence on electricity.

In recent months the Green Options Committee has been:

• Exploring solar energy for the town and residents and other green energy options

• Recycling plastics

• Expanding food scrap program

• Exploring alternatives to pesticides

• Encouraging planting of native pollinator gardens

Members of the Deer & Tick Committee will be on hand to explain their commitment to decrease the incidence of tick-borne diseases. Discussions at recent meetings have centered on attracting more hunters to bag deer on which ticks feed and the need for more properties to be opened to hunters on the Island.

Representatives of Drawdown East End and the North Fork Environmental Council will be present. Drawdown East End aims to provide solutions to reverse global warming. The group has been focused on reducing food waste, diverting it from landfills and making compost.

Representatives of Mashomack Preserve and Sylvester Manor Farm will be available to discuss activities underway at both sites and the Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board, responsible for saving many acres of Island land from development, will be glad to share information on their acquisitions.

With water quality and quantity issues garnering great attention, representatives of the Water Advisory Board, the Water Quality Improvement Board, Friends of Fresh Pond and the Conservation Advisory Council plan to be available to talk about their efforts.

Comprehensive Plan Task Force and Advisory Committee members will answer questions about their work and hear from the public about what they want in the revised plan. If adopted, the plan will be a guide for future legislation and directions for 10 or more years.

The Green Expo starts at 11 a.m. on Aug. 20, and runs to 3 p.m. Rain date is the following Saturday, Aug. 27.