Ina Garten and Jeffrey Garten are the evening's Honorary Co-Chairs. (Photo: Clint Spaulding/PatrickMcMullan.com)
The Nature Conservancy will host its A Barefoot Contessa Dinner Summer Benefit on Saturday, June 25th on the grounds of the Center for Conservation in East Hampton. Ina Garten and Jeffrey Garten will serve as the evening's Honorary Co-Chairs, with Pam and Peter Flaherty and Anne and Nicolas Erni as Event Co-Chairs.
This year's soiree will support and raise awareness for the ongoing fight for clean water on Long Island. "We understand that nitrogen pollution from sewage harms our bays and harbors-with devastating impacts on wetlands, seagrass, fish and shellfish. The problem is only expected to get worse unless action is taken," said Nancy Kelley, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy on Long Island. "We are committed to restoring swimmable, fishable and drinkable waters locally, and we hope to share knowledge with our colleagues across the nation and the globe as we tackle this worldwide crisis together."
The evening will commence at 7 p.m. with cocktails. Following signature sips, attendees will be treated to a sumptuous three-course Barefoot Contessa Dinner from Ina Garten's cookbooks that highlights regionally and sustainably grown foods and wine donated by Domaine Franey.
"The East End is not just a place I visit, it's where I live. And I feel strongly about maintaining what's beautiful here-not just on the surface-but what's under the surface: the quality of our water and land," explained Ina Garten. "I think The Nature Conservancy does a great job of encouraging that ethic."
Additionally, the event will showcase displays that cover the progress made for clean water and also feature plein air paintings of lands and waters on the East End, which have been protected by the Conservancy.
The Conservancy's goal is to ensure that Long Island has access to the best technology available, as well as new regulatory incentives and adequate capital to execute essential enhancements to wastewater treatment. "This event is an opportunity to highlight the importance of sustainable natural resources-including the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe. In keeping with that theme, staff will be on hand at the summer benefit to explain new clean water technologies like permeable reactive barriers and nitrogen-reducing septic systems," Judith Christrup, Assistant Director of Philanthropy, The Nature Conservancy. "In addition, our menu will offer sustainably-raised fare, as much as possible-from the Montauk-raised oysters to arugula, tomatoes and other produce from local growers, such as Satur Farms and Jim Pike's Farm Stand." Events like this and continued outreach and advocacy helps guarantee that the necessary steps are taken to address needed water quality advancements. Proceeds from the Summer Benefit will support innovative water quality projects like high-tech water quality monitors for local bays and promotion of new wastewater treatment options for homes spanning from East Hampton to Port Washington.
Tickets begin at $1,000.
The Center for Conservation is located at 142 Route 114 in East Hampton. For more information, call 631-367-3384 ext 13 or visit www.nature.org.
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