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Long Island Water

Water is the lifeblood of Long Island, New York, home of Grassroots.  Along our southern coast, the Atlantic Ocean thunders ashore with its pounding surf; on the North Shore, the gentle waves of Long Island Sound lap at the water's edge. And the countless bays, inlets and marshlands that dot the island support an active maritime industry while providing ample opportunities for recreation and tourism.


Under the Island lie three fresh water aquifers, placed there at the ends of ice ages, that provide fresh water to all Long Island residents. This public water supply is recognized by the EPA with a special designation as a Sole Source Aquifer region.


Protecting the quality of our water is essential to Long Island's future and the health and wellbeing of its residents. Recent reports of significant pollution, both in our aquifers and our surface waters, should be of concern to everyone living on the Island.


There is no doubt that the rapid development of Long Island has had a major impact on the groundwater and surface water problems we face today.

Fast Facts

  • Long Island sits on top of three ancient aquifers that provide all of our fresh drinking water.


  • Long Island's ground and surface waters are being contaminated by excess nitrogen from septic systems high nitrogen lawn fertilizers, pesticides and legacy industrial chemicals.


  • Consideration of impacts on water quality and quantity should be part of all zoning decisions on Long Island.

Water Matters

Under grants from the Long Island Community Foundation and the Claire Friedlander Foundation. Grassroots produced two seasons of an online TV show called "Water Matters" featuring host Marshall Brown. 

The show featured presentations and interviews more than two dozen experts in various field of water pollution and protection. 

Watch the whole series here

Developers and homeowners have routinely been granted variances from building codes meant to protect water resources or limit consumption, and as the population of Long Island has grown, these variances have led to increasing burdens on our water supply. 

The primary contaminants found in Long Island waters are legacy pesticides and industrial chemicals, as well as excess nitrogen from septic systems and high nitrogen fertilizers and newly emerging contaminants such as 1,4-dioxane and PFCs. 

Grassroots has taken a leadership position on the protection of water resources on Long Island, most recently by helping to develop and promote legislation to restrict the sale and use of high-nitrogen fertilizers on Long Island. For more information, including a series of videos on Long Island's water, please visit

Things you can do:

• Support regulations that limit or prohibit the use of high-nitrogen lawn fertilizers.

• Maintain your lawn and landscapes without the use of chemical pesticides

• Don't put hazardous chemicals down drains.

• Our drinking water is a finite resource. Conserve water whenever possible.

LI Water resources
Long Island Water Quality Resources
Print Material
  • For flyers and brochures about Long Island's water, please visit our program website,

Related Pages 

Related Websites
  • - Grassroots has taken a leadership position on the protection of water resources on Long Island by helping to develop and promote restrictions on pesticides and fertilizer use, as well as educating the public about common chemical contaminants in drinking water that is sourced solely from underground aquifers.

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