Archival Post

Walk for the Wild

Walk for the Wild is an event to encourage the public to get back to nature. 

The USFWS is partnering with the Public Land Alliance and the Virtual Running Club to advertise this event. People can register online through the VRC website and either choose to pay a $30 registration fee that gets them a Walk for the Wild shirt or they can register for free with no shirt. We would want to recommend to register even if it’s for the no fee option so we can get a sense of how many people will be attending the event. The walk would be all week, whenever the public wanted to come walk. We will receive stickers for people who complete a trail or walk on our refuge. There are additional options for people to purchase as well as the shirt that comes with the registration.

All resources are accessible to the Friends groups if they would like to be involved but is not required to have them if they chose not to participate. There is a recorded webinar that addresses questions and concerns I can email out. There will also be several special event workshops to help with any confusion and to push along the event seamlessly.

Shirts ordered by September 14th will receive their shirts in time for the beginning of refuge week. Sent directly to their address. The USFWS does not hold anyone’s information. It is all done through VRC.

We will adhere to all COVID regulations and guidelines as well as encourage social distancing when on the trails for the walk, a sign-in sheet for those who did not previously registered online (for a head count on how many people attended), bathrooms will be all outside, and hand sanitizer available to the public.

Update 3/5/21:Town of Brookhaven will not pursue Regional Recovery and Recycling Residue Facility (Ash Fill)

Overview: Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine and members of the Town Board today announced that the Town will not pursue construction of a regional municipal ashfill or an ash recycling facility after projected costs associated with the construction of the facility vastly exceeded initial cost estimates. The Town will continue to use its existing facility in Yaphank until it reaches capacity under its existing permit, and will then handle residential municipal waste in the same way nearly all other municipalities have since 1989 when New York law closed other Long Island landfills. 

Overview: The final proposal was to move towards zero waste by restructuring for recycling, pay as you throw models, curbside composting, banning landfills, banning and reducing single-use plastics, mandatory minimums for recycling and partnerships with green companies. This option, comes with its challenges but would also encourage local green businesses and job creation. Ultimately, the committee recommended against the creation of the landfill a burden on the community for the last 50 years. The decision was made by a majority vote.

 “It is recommended that the Brookhaven Landfill be closed on or about December 2024 and that an ashfill not be pursued by Brookhaven Town,” wrote committee chair Miglino. “Furthermore, facility land should be repurposed to work in concert with the local environment where possible. The closing of the facility should be achieved by outsourcing our MSW collection and disposal to private industry, while the Town of Brookhaven retains fiscal and regulatory management of the process.”

For additional information click the link to see the article in the Long Island Advance.

The Town of Brookhaven is proposing a Regional Recovery and Recycling Residue Facility (Ash Fill) at the existing Solid Waste Management Facility

Overview: For more than 20 years Friends of Wertheim has partnered with the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge to preserve critical South Shore habitat for migratory birds and native fauna and flora, while continually enhancing the recreational and educational resources of the Refuge for the public at large. The 2,550 acre refuge is bisected by the Carmans River, a state-designated Wild and Scenic River that is also part of the South Shore Estuary Reserve. The refuge is a critical habitat for migratory birds and diverse forms of wildlife and offers vital recreational and educational opportunities to racially and economically diverse populations within the surrounding communities.

contaminant map

The existing landfill operation in the Town of Brookhaven Solid Waste Management Facility has a history of releasing pollutants into Little Neck Run, a tributary of the Carmans River. Notwithstanding this prior history of contamination of Wertheim’s surface waters, the proposed ash fill would be located closer to the headwaters of these tributaries. The potential adverse impacts to Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge from the proposed ash fill are many and varied and include surface and ground water, air quality, environmental justice and degradation of the wildlife habitat and recreational / educational opportunities at the Refuge. These impacts must be thoroughly studied and alternatives site locations considered. Friends of Wertheim intends to participate in further public proceedings concerning the proposed Ash Fill. 

To learn more please click on the link below and read the full letter to the town detailing our position on the proposed ash fill. Your support helps The Friends of Wertheim protect the interest of our Refuge, the environment, and the surrounding community. 

Ash Fill Letter

Reaching Into Cities Will Help Kids, Wildlife

By Dan Ashe – Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of 10 refuges of which Wertheim NWR is the Headquarters. Many of the Long Island Refuges are considered Urban Refuges, which is why we feel it is important to share this article with you our members.

I was at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act in September. I know for most, New Jersey isn’t the first state that comes to mind when wilderness is discussed.  But Great Swamp, 26 miles as the crow flies from Times Square, was the first Department of the Interior designated wilderness. Today, you can hike eight miles of trails across 3,660 acres of wilderness and experience nature in solitude.

Places like Great Swamp Refuge are more than just escapes from the modern world. From John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum near Philadelphia to Bayou Sauvage Refuge in New Orleans, urban refuges are a key part of our conservation strategy: working with partners to engage urban populations in building an inclusive conservation movement.

More than 80 percent of Americans live in urban environments – a shift that has profound implications for the health and well-being of millions of people, especially youth. We’re learning that kids who spend more time in nature are physically healthier, cognitively more advanced and suffer fewer emotional problems.  Today’s children soon will be our nation’s elected officials, business leaders, parents, activists and public servants. What happens when a generation disconnected from the outdoors is in charge of taking care of nature? We must bridge the growing divide between young people and nature.

We can do that by helping kids make personal connections to the outdoors, especially through nature-based recreation and education and, yes, through better use of technology and social media. Childhood memories and experiences shape the values and priorities we apply as citizens and leaders.  We’re looking to use our Urban Wildlife Refuge Program to engage new audiences in metropolitan areas across the country. And we must use technology to keep them engaged.

We are building our newest urban refuge – Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque, NM – from the ground up. In August, Secretary Jewell announced the acquisition of the remaining acreage needed to complete the 570-acre refuge, which gives us an unparalleled opportunity to help families engage nature firsthand.

In urban areas where we don’t have a land base, we’ve created 14 Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships to bring us together with community leaders, educators and conservationists. We are working to change how people perceive the outdoors by helping them connect with nature in a fun and culturally relevant way.  By building community support and rethinking where and how we reach families and youth, we can enrich and transform lives. We can nurture the next generation of citizen-conservationists.

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