Awesome volunteer opportunity on Saturday, June 27th at Sunken Meadow State Park! Your help is needed to restore the Sunken Meadow habitat by planting native grasses. See the flyer below for more information

Marsh Planting

 

 

The 2014 Annual Report is now available. Click the image below

2014 Annual Report

 




Mission Statement

Working together for healthy soils and clean water.

Our purpose is to protect, preserve, restore, and enhance natural resources through education and technical assistance. We provide programs and technical services to all Nassau County residents and municipalities to manage our precious natural resources.

Nassau County Soil & Water Conservation District is one of 58 county districts in New York State that provides “on the ground” assistance for soil and water resources, preservation of wildlife, and promote the health, safety, and welfare of residents in their respective communities.

Thanks for a Wonderful 2014: Sustainable Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting

Thank you to all who joined us for the Sustainable Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting at the Malcolm House! Here are members of the Board and Nassau Soil & Water staff members with our live, balled tree, which we’ll be planting after the holidays.

This event celebrated the end of a successful year and kicks off the Conservation District’s “Reforest Nassau” community tree grow-out program. We also provided tips on how to make the holiday season more sustainable.

We’ve had a wonderful 2014 and wish everyone the best for 2015!

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10 Ways to Make Your Holidays More Sustainable

The holiday season is a time of warmth and cheer for many people, and a time to celebrate with colleagues, friends, and family. Unfortunately, this can also be a time of excessive waste and consumption of natural resources.

Here are simple tips to make your holiday more sustainable- and enjoyable!

10 Sustainable Holiday Tips

Please fill out our Green Infrastructure Survey!

The Nassau Soil & Water Conservation District is creating an educational film about stormwater management and green infrastructure practices in the region. We would appreciate your insights on the topic and would like to showcase your efforts in mitigating stormwater through green infrastructure projects. Thank you for your participation in this survey. Please call or e-mail us with questions or comments at NassauSWCD@optonline.net or 516-364-5860.

-Corey Humphrey, District Manager

3rd Annual Long Island Green Infrastructure Conference and ExpoLIGIC Logo final

The 3rd Annual LI Green Infrastructure Conference will be hosted at the Town of North Hempstead’s “Yes We Can” Community Center at 141 Garden Street in Westbury, NY on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We are pleased to be able to offer 4 AIA Learning Units from the United States Green Building Council – Long Island chapter, at least 2 PE credits, and LA credits are expected.  The focus of this year’s conference is “Preparing for the Next Storm.” In the wake of Storms Irene and Sandy, the need for thoughtful, well planned coastal and inland resiliency became very apparent. Areas with intact natural buffers fared best, and that protective effect can be replicated utilizing green infrastructure.

Green infrastructure (GI) practices are methods go beyond traditional practices in reducing carbon emissions, protecting water quality, improving quality of life, and providing wildlife habitat. Green infrastructure includes a range of practices that are used as alternatives to traditional building and stormwater management methods to promote land conservation, water body buffers, and reduced imperviousness, as well as stormwater capture, and filtration.  GI can not only reduce runoff and mitigate the effects of small storms but also have a protective effect during big events as well. 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.

The 2014 Long Island Green Infrastructure Conference will include an address by Jon Kaiman, Special Advisor on Superstorm Sandy relief to Governor Andrew Cuomo. There will also be tours of the “Yes We Can Community Center, the platinum-certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building. In addition, sessions on addressing applications of GI for coastal protection, effects of climate change and adaptation planning, municipal codes and breaking barriers, economic value of GI and grants, current technologies and materials including stormwater calculators, and retrofitting to GI are planned.

For more information or to register as an attendee or as an exhibitor or sponsor, please visit www.ligiconference.org or contact Eric Swenson at hempsteadharbor@yahoo.com.

 

Calling all High Schools – Envirothon Teams Wanted!

The Long Island Regional Envirothon is held in the spring every year, alternating between the USDAN Center for the Creative and Performing Arts and the Old Bethpage Village Restoration, bringing teams from local schools in Nassau and Suffolk Counties to compete for a chance to represent their County at the New York State Envirothon.  The Envirothon involves teams of 5 students from each school gaining environmental knowledge through a competition-based outdoor event.  Subjects include Forestry, Soils, Aquatics, Wildlife, and Current Issues.  The current issue for 2014 is Sustainable Local Agriculture/Locally Grown.  Students are required to answer questions and demonstrate hands-on application of these topics.  The Long Island Regional Envirothon is put together locally by the Nassau County and Suffolk County Soil and Water Districts.  For more information on the Envirothon, volunteering, or working with local schools to protect our environment, visit the website at www.LIEnvirothon.com

We have a DVD grant in progress!

We have a DVD in the works! This film will cover stormwater discharges in urban and suburban landscapes and how it can be addressed by low impact strategies, smart growth and best management practices. It will cover a large variety of issues that relate to point and non-point pollution and its effects. Things such as contaminants, most common pollution sources, and green infrastructure solutions will be shown.

We are currently working on locations to be included, people to interview, and the script for the film!

Rain Garden Presentation

District manager Brian Zimmerman gave a presentation on rain gardens at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s “Managing Landscapes Sustainably” conference.  You can check out his presentation, which was very well received, here: Rain garden presentation

Science Teachers Association of New York State Book Fair

We were so excited to be able to have an informational booth about the Long Island Regional Envirothon high school competition at the Science Teachers Association of New York State’s book fair yesterday, October 23! We had many teachers ask about Envirothon and how they and their students can get involved.  If you’d like to learn more about Envirothon, visit the website at www.lienvirothon.org

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2013 was a great year!

2013 Annual Report  <– click here to view the 2013 Annual Report

We had an amazing year in 2013! Here are some of our activities from last year! Along with Rain Garden planning and maintenance, we also had tons of educational opportunities, where we were able to reach out to schools and spread the word about watershed health and Green Infrastructure Practices. We had tons of meetings and a myriad of ideas!

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The Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District worked with 75 separate individuals, educated 750 students, worked with 21 different organizations, visited 10 schools, held 1 conference, and held 1 plant sale. NCSWCD attended and organized, collectively, 17 meetings. Among these meetings was the Green Infrastructure Conference planning and coordination meetings, Long Island Native Plant Initiative meetings, Water Quality Coordinating Committee meetings, and meetings about the Foodway Corridor Project. We have kept extremely busy throughout the year, and plan to continue this way. Some of this year’s highlights include the Green Infrastructure Conference, where there were 200 people in attendance, with 16 speakers, and 22 vendors/sponsors. With the Water Quality Coordinating Committee, we were in talks about Bergen Point Treatment plant, we spoke with Pat Aiken about various educational projects, and we revised and completed NYSDEC grant forms for various projects. We gave three rain garden talks with Martin Viette, the Massapequa Park Garden Club, and at Cornell Cooperative Extension’s “Managing Landscapes Sustainably” conference. We educated students about the health and maintenance of our watershed at Marine Education Day, where 7 elementary school and about 400 people were in attendance. We visited the Oceanside school district schools to assess Hurricane Sandy Damage and talk about plant material needs. We held a plant sale, where we sold mainly native plants and non-invasive non-native plants. We sold about 11,000 trees and shrubs and educated people about the importance of implementing native plants into their home gardens. We educated about 150 students at the Cradle of Aviation BOCES about stormwater and Green Infrastructure Practices. We volunteered at the Long Island Native Plant Initiative plant sale, and planted our own nursery. We worked and trained for seed collection, and advised BOCES about outdoor learning center curriculum. NCSWCD installed a demonstrating rain garden at the Cold Spring Harbor Library and Environmental Center and visited and cleaned the Tackpausha Rain Garden, the Town of Oyster Bay Animal Shelter Rain Garden, and the two Malcolm House Rain Gardens.

Scotts Environmental Challenge Proposal for Cold Spring Harbor Library Environmental Center

Press Conference/Photo Op. at Cold Spring Harbor Library and Environmental Center’s new rain garden

The press conference on Mon., October 21st was a great success!! A large crowd came, including a handful of reporters and various officials from Nassau County and the Town of Huntington.  This was a wonderful joint effort between Nassau and Suffolk, and helps to press the point that water and pollution know no political boundaries.  Here’s a news article about the unveiling: CSH library rain garden article

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The Nassau and Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation Districts in cooperation with the Cold Spring Harbor Library and Environmental Center, the Oyster Bay-Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee and Friends of the Bay have created a rain garden/native tree planting to protect Cold Spring Harbor from stormwater runoff. This project will not only serve as a way to protect Cold Spring Harbor’s water, but also as an educational opportunity for those involved and those who go to see it.

 Rain gardens are shallow depressions designed to absorb storm water runoff from surfaces such as roofs, parking lots, and driveways. Without rain gardens, the storm water will continue to flow into the storm drains and waterways leading to problems such erosion, water pollution and flooding. Covered with native plants and flowers, rain gardens are both beautiful and functional. The garden’s size is determined by the amount of water expected to flow into it. When it rains, the garden fills with a few inches of water and allows the water to slowly filter into the ground rather than running off into storm drains. This is more efficient than a patch of lawn, as rain gardens allow 30% more water to soak into the ground. Rain gardens have environmental benefits of returning rain water to the ground, renewing ground water and aquifers, and reducing storm water runoff. Additionally, rain gardens reduce mosquito breeding by removing standing water, and also create a habitat for birds and butterflies, all while serving as an aesthetically pleasing attribute.

Our project included a soil drainage test, determining the size of the rain garden based on the watershed, community outreach, surveying and designing the rain garden and much much more!

Our plant material was native plants, and adapted non-invasive non-native plants. These plants were selected by the Soil and Water Conservation Districts for their adaptability to the site conditions and beauty.

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SUNY Old Westbury Green Roof

 

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Recently, we went to see how the green roof we installed on the natural science building at SUNY Old Westbury was holding up. A little over a year after being installed, it was doing better than we could imagine, despite the drought. This is the first green roof in Nassau County and we hope to see many more in the future! — at SUNY College at Old Westbury.

A green roof, or rooftop garden, is a vegetative layer grown on a rooftop. Green roofs provide shade, absorb rainwater, and remove heat from the air , reducing temperatures of the roof surface and the surrounding air. On hot summer days, the surface temperature of a green roof can be cooler than the air temperature, whereas the surface of a conventional rooftop can be up to 90°F (50°C) warmer.1

Green roofs can be installed on a wide range of buildings, from industrial facilities to private residences. They can be as simple as a 2-inch covering of hardy groundcover or as complex as a fully accessible park complete with trees. Their increasing popularity in the US inspired us to give it a try!

Tackapausha Museum & Preserve holds Science and Nature Exploration Day!

 

We are excited to announce that we attended Tackapausha Museum & Preserve’s Science and Nature Exploration Day! It was held on Saturday, July 20th from 2 – 6 PM, in order to honor the 44th Anniversary of the first moon landing in 1969! It was a fun-filled day of live wildlife programs, model rocketry contests, science experiments, space and aviation exhibits, science fiction movies, guieded hikes, robotics, crafts and much more! Tackapausha Museum & Preserve is located at 2225 Washington Ave, Seaford NY 11783

 

  Soil & Water Conservation Districts hold Second

Annual LI Green Infrastructure Conference & Expo at

Brookhaven National Laboratory

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On June 12, 2013, Nassau and Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation Districts jointly held the 2nd annual Long Island Green Infrastructure Conference & Expo at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The audience of approximately two hundred people included municipal officials, planners, consultants, property owners, developers and other interested individuals. Speakers at the conference discussed how our communities can address vital water and energy issues and benefit by going green during tough economic times. Delivering cutting edge, realistic solutions for protecting water quality as well as conserving energy, the experts speaking were well received. Speakers showcased their methods using Green Infrastructure Technologies. These green infrastructure technologies go beyond traditional practices in reducing carbon emissions, protecting water quality, improving quality of life, and providing wildlife habitat. Green infrastructure (GI) includes a range of practices that are used as alternatives to traditional building and stormwater management methods to promote land conservation, water body buffers, and reduced imperviousness, as well as stormwater capture, and filtration.

The conference featured keynote speaker Judith Enck, United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), Region 2 Administrator. She discussed the benefits of green infrastructure and US EPA programs that support green infrastructure initiatives.

“Green infrastructure is a fiscally responsible answer to many water challenges, and helps build healthier communities,” said Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “The investments that Long Island communities make today will be a catalyst for sustainable growth and environmental protection for years to come. I commend the conveners of the Long Island Green Infrastructure Conference for hosting this valuable event.”

The conference was organized by the Nassau and Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation Districts (NCSWCD and SCSWCD) along 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 have joined together to deliver this regional forum to promote green infrastructure.

 Sponsored by New York Sea Grant, the conference provided 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.

*Update*

The 3rd Long Island Green Infrastructure Conference and Expo will be held on June 11, 2014 at the Town of North Hempstead’s LEED Platinum certified “Yes We Can” Community Center in Westbury, New York.  The topic of this year’s conference will be “Preparing for the Next Storm.”

 For more information please visit http://ligiconference.org/

Rain Garden Updates!

The headquarters of the Nassau County Soil and water District at the Malcolm House in Jericho has a newly completed rain garden. Rain Gardens are shallow depressions designed to absorb storm water runoff from surfaces such as roofs, parking lots, and driveways. Without rain gardens, the storm water will continue to flow into the storm drains and waterways leading to problems such erosion, water pollution and flooding. Covered with native plants and flowers, rain gardens are beautiful and functional. The garden’s size is determined by the amount of water expected to flow into it. When it rains, the garden fills with a few inches of water and allows water to slowly filter into the ground rather running off into storm drains. This more efficient than a patch of lawn as rain gardens allow 30% more water to soak into the ground. Rain gardens have environmental benefits of returning rain water to the ground, renewing ground water and aquifers, and reducing storm water runoff. Additionally, rain gardens reduce mosquito breeding by removing standing water, and also create a habitat for birds and butterflies, all while serving as an aesthetically pleasing attribute.

   Please, feel free to come and check out our new rain garden. We have many other Rain Garden projects underway, and are pleased to help out with the growing interest in Rain Gardens on Long Island.

If you can think of a place in need of a Rain Garden, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Phone: (516) 364-5860 Email: nassauswcd@optonline.net

 “Our rain garden should serve as a model for homeowners all over Long Island. We hope that our community will learn from our example of sustainable practice” 

“The advantages of creating a rain garden are far-reaching. Ultimately the garden becomes a natural filtering system that stops pollution that would have otherwise ended up in the sound. And by trapping pollution, rain gardens are responsible for improving water quality and protecting the species within the LI Sound.”

– Brian Zimmerman

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