Log In   ·   Become A Member

Congressman Tim Bishop Introduced New Legislation To Preserve Southold’s Plum Island

Andrew Nachemson

Congressman Bishop announces the introduction of his legislation with Plum Island featured in the background. (Courtesy Photo)

Yesterday, Tuesday July 16, Congressman Tim Bishop announced the introduction of his new bill, "Save Don't Sell Plum Island." The eastern Long Island representative was joined by a coalition of elected officials and environmental activists in submitting the legislation to the House of Representatives and the Senate. The bill is meant to preserve biodiversity and prevent further development on the island (located in Southold's Gardiners Bay) by eliminating the current legal requirement that the island be sold at a public auction.

The bill is an attempt to combat the 2008 legislation passed by Congress mandating the public sale of Plum Island. The intended purpose of the sale was to offset the $1.2 billion cost of constructing a new National Bio-and-Agro Defense Facility (NBAF) in Kansas, but Bishop has asserted that Plum Island's value as a research facility and wildlife conservation outweighs the revenue they might receive from a potential sale. He has consistently fought against funding for NBAF, arguing that the massive new facility is both unaffordable and superfluous given the existence of other research facilities like the Plum Island Animal Disease Research Center.

"Plum Island is one of the natural treasures of the Northeast and my bill would eliminate the wrongheaded requirement that it be sold into private hands for a fraction of its true value to our nation," Bishop said in defense of his legislation. "If the federal government did not already own Plum Island, it would be seeking to purchase it for conservation as prime habitat for rare birds and plants as well as a research campus ideal for the study of biology and botany, alternative energy development, or other scientific disciplines. Elected officials, environmental advocates, and the entire community speak with one voice in support of my legislation: save, don't sell Plum Island."

Spokesman for the Preserve Plum Island Coalition John Turner.(Courtesy Photo)

The legislation already has bipartisan support, with Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Michael Grimm (R-NY) serving as original cosponsors in the House of Representatives. Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal (CT) is also slated to introduce companion legislation to the Senate.

These sponsors joined Bishop in asserting the vital importance of the bill. "Plum Island is a unique ecological resource that should be preserved for future generations," said Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT). "Currently, the law prescribes only one fate for Plum Island should the site leave federal ownership: sale to a private owner. I applaud the steps that Southhold, NY and stakeholders on both sides of the Long Island Sound have taken towards preserving the island, but it is clear that Congress must eliminate the sale requirement to allow for other options for its future - including preservation as an ecological treasure. I am proud to join with Congressman Bishop and our colleagues in Connecticut and New York to offer this commonsense proposal today."

Across the aisle, Republican Michael Grimm echoed his support for the proposal, emphasizing the value of the Island as well as the previous investments that have already been made in the development of its research center. "To sell Plum Island at a fraction of its value for the purpose of real estate development will threaten this natural treasure. In addition, after the federal government has invested millions in the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, the facility's closure will put millions of taxpayer dollars to waste and put local research jobs at risk. I applaud Congressman Bishop for his leadership to 'Save, Not Sell' Plum Island and I am proud to join him in this effort."

A groundswell of support has begun all across Suffolk County, with legislators and environmentalists from all levels speaking out in solidarity. New York State Senator Ken LaValle, Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski, and various representatives from environmental organizations have all joined together to applaud the introduction of the bill and reiterate the sentiments expressed by Bishop and his sponsors.

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
Please type the word 'water'
(For spam prevention, thanks)
Gary R. DePersia, Corcoran Real Estate
With over $2 billion in transactions, Gary DePersia is consistently ranked among the top producers in the Hamptons. A year-on-year member of The Corcoran Group President’s Council, he has qualified as a national list maker since 2007. In the 2016 REAL Trends & The Wall Street Journal list of America’s top real estate professionals, he was designated #22 nationally and #5 in the Hamptons by volume with nearly $200 million of transactions for the past year.

East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Bridgehampton National Bank
For over 100 years Bridgehampton National Bank has been the East End's hometown bank. Many success stories...one bank, BNB!

Advertise on Hamptons.com - Have your business be seen by over 2 million viewers including NEW searches
Hamptons.com- Our exclusive online magazine has 2.6 million Page Views YTD for 2015. Contact us to join our elite group of clients that benefit from having a presence on the Hamptons award winning publication www.Hamptons.com

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

Hampton Coffee Company is dedicated to making sure you have the best possible experience with our brand, whether you visit one of our cafés, our Mobile Unit, one of our wholesale partners, order through our website, or purchase our coffee on the supermark
We strongly believe that one of the most important parts of being a successful business in the community is truly becoming a part of it. Hampton Coffee Company is proud to support more than 100 different local charities, schools, and organizations each and every year. It is our pleasure to participate in events that are important to our staff and our customers.

RJD Gallery specializes in contemporary art with a focus on Magical, Figurative Realism, Narrative Portraiture and Urban Landscape.
We exhibit representational artists from around the world, who produce fine art of exceptional quality that challenge collectors to contemplate concepts about the artist, themselves, and our human experience. Utilizing timeless techniques in creating their drawings, paintings and sculptures, our artists have developed unique, signature styles that present a current vision of our world.