Editorial: Administrators of the new city will have a lot to do


This month’s global climate change summit in Glasgow, billed as “the planet’s last and best hope,” has passed. It’s safe to say that most Americans probably didn’t pay much attention to what it covered or what was decided, even though the issue it addressed unites us all, everywhere.

Now we are all aware that climate change is upon us. It is here and now and even the most conservative scientific forecasts indicate that sea levels continue to rise, severe heat waves are more frequent, and storms are increasingly fierce.

It’s unclear how the rising waters in the Long Island Strait and Peconic Bay Estuary will affect waterfront homes, businesses like marinas, and local roads.

But there will certainly be an impact, and on the North Fork – that bony, arthritic finger sticking out into the Atlantic Ocean – it will be substantial. The Sound and the bay are too close to each other in several places for it not to be.

One question is how long it will take for simple “routine” storms – not hurricanes or hurricanes that strike just at high tide – to wash our roads and threaten waterfront properties to the point where homes have to be moved. , or the owners say they can’t rebuild, and the roads have to be increased at great expense.

Hardening the waterfront to protect properties and continuing to move large amounts of sand to restore and maintain our beaches are costly solutions. These measurements are also like putting a patch on an old tire. They may help in the short term, but after that who knows?

We are saying all this for the simple reason that three new people will soon take their places on the Board of Directors. They are Eric Sepenoski, Elizabeth Peeples and Liz Gillooly. They replace two longtime trustees, John Bredemeyer and Mike Domino. The third administrator, Greg Williams, whose term will expire, unsuccessfully ran for city council.

So we will have a new group of administrators at an auspicious time in Southold Town’s history. With its tasks focused on monitoring our evolving waterfront, this council will immediately become the most important in its long history. He should contact equivalent boards on South Fork to share knowledge and monitor impacts there. Perhaps a “super tip” encompassing the five East End cities would help with data sharing.

We have said several times in this space that the big three for Southold Town are the preservation of farmland, the health of our salt creeks and the preservation of the Peconic Bay estuary. With every development proposal that lands at Town Hall, these concerns must be paramount. The current city council, under the leadership of Scott Russell, has also focused heavily on these areas. So we’re in a better position within municipal government to tackle the big issues that lie ahead because of this.

As for the climate summit in Scotland, consider the top priority to be limiting the rise in global temperatures to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels. Beyond that, water shortages, crop damage, forest fires, fierce storms and deadly heat waves will force tens of millions of refugees to flee their homes. Where will they go?

With that figure as a benchmark, the summit noted that global temperatures have already warmed by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to massive ice melting in places like Greenland.

Here’s what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says: In 2014, global sea level was 2.6 inches above the 1993 average. That was almost eight years ago. This number is higher now, and we see it whenever the moon is full and the tides are higher.

The new administrators, working with a realigned city council, have their work cut out for them in terms of the code changes expected to be made in the years to come and how the city will react when new funds start to complain that the area in front of them. house took away – and ask who will pay to fix it.


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