The Long Island Pine Barrens is a forest in Suffolk County, New York that is preserved for its pristine beauty and its geologic and environmental importance. The Pine Barrens is a diverse ecosystem that spreads over 100,000 acres of Suffolk County. It has a great geologic purpose of serving as a deep recharge station for groundwater aquifers.
The history of the Pine Barrens is rich and full of policies and litigation that have helped to maintain this natural forest, protects groundwater, and decrease pollution into the aquifers. Through the development of a comprehensive land use plan, land use and development have been heavily restricted and limited in the Pine Barrens Region.
I will also explore what pressures the Pine Barrens faces such as wildfires, salt water intrusion, development, and groundwater pollution. I will also go over ecological services offered by preservation of the Pine Barrens and how they benefit all of Suffolk County. I would also like to look into Government entities that have influence about Pine Barrens preservation and development, what planning is done for some of these natural resources, and how the local governments work together through collaborative governance. I will try to interview members of the Long Island Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission as well as local elected officials such as the county executive, town supervisor, and members of the town boards. I will be meeting and discussing some of these issues and plans for further preservation with members of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society. For federal involvement, I will be interviewing members of the EPA for actions they might take to further preserve and protect the Long Island Pine Barrens and groundwater in Suffolk County.