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
What color is a banana?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

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.

Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field.
Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 34 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field. Trusted, experienced and successful, Andrea has solidified herself as the go-to broker of the Hamptons and a wholehearted advocate for her clients. A pioneer in the real estate industry on the East End of Long Island, she is driven by her passion for the business. Andrea is based in the Bridgehampton office of Brown Harris Stevens as a licensed real estate associate broker and consultant. Formerly, a principal partner and Senior Director at Brown Harris Stevens, Andrea now assists in developing their corporate strategy for the Hamptons region, advising other brokers and sales associates, as well as being one of the top producers and listors.

Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.

Burner Law Group, P.C.
Burner Law Group, P.C. are full service elder law attorneys concentrating in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration and Litigation, Special Needs Planning, Guardianship and Elder Law. Offices in East Setauket‚ NY, Westhampton Beach, NY, and New York, NY.

Calissa is Mykonos in the Hamptons.
Our menu focuses on seafood and Greek dishes such as salt baked fish, seafood pasta and Mediterranean mezze. Our wine list has been awarded The Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator and boasts the largest selection of rosé in the Hamptons. The name Calissa is derived from the brightest constellation in the summer sky.Our sister restaurants in New York are Amali and Bar Marseille, opening 2020 in the Rockaways. Calissa offers private dining spaces for groups from 10 to 300 people. To plan your next wedding, corporate event or gathering, please email events@calissahamptons.com. 1020 MONTAUK HIGHWAY, WATER MILL

Suburban Propane in Bridgehampton, New York has been serving proudly supporting our community for 90 years.
Suburban Propane has been serving the energy needs for home owners and business in the Hampton’s for decades. We offer friendly service by local professionals you know and trust, plus the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are among the leaders in the industry for safety.