FROM THE MAINLAND: Bay Shore FD Rescues Ospreys From Fire

By Greg SleterWHEN THE BAY SHORE FIRE DEPARTMENT responded to a call of a brushfire on a utility pole in Brightwaters on Wednesday, May 25, little did firefighters know that they would need to perform high wire act to save a family of ospreys. According to fire department officials, when 2nd Assistant Chief Jerry Rockfled arrived on scene, he found a large Osprey nest on fire with the mother bird and her 4 babies still inside.Firefighter K. Voges and Firefighter Brian Ball using Ladder 317 made a quick knock down of the fire using a dry chemical extinguisher, then proceeded to remove the four baby ospreys. Once removed, Firefighter Fred Crump using a one-inch line mopped up the rest of the fire atop the pole. Voges and Ball then returned the birds safely to their nest and the mother bird returned. Sadly one of the baby ospreys did not survive the fire and was buried at Gilbert Park on South Windsor Drive in Brightwaters by members of the fire department before returning to headquarters.Islip Honors Gen. MacArthurTown of Islip officials, local veterans, and charitable groups recently gathered for the unveiling of a new display at Long Island MacArthur Airport. The new installation in the airport’s atrium highlights the life and career of the airport’s namesake, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the most decorated soldier in American history, and best known for his role in World War II and the post-war period.“General MacArthur was a defining figure of the 20th century, and his legacy carries through to the present day. We are proud that our airport bears his name, and this new installation will remind travelers of the reasons we continue to honor this great man,” said John Cochrane, Jr., Islip Town Councilman“Honoring General MacArthur in this way not only pays tribute to one man, but to all of the men and women of our greatest generation,” added Angie Carpenter, Islip Town Supervisor.The installation, constructed by Cornerstone Kiosk, chronicles the life and achievements of Gen. MacArthur from his days at West Point to his final dismissal by President Harry Truman. The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation and the Long Island General MacArthur Memorial Fund provided funding for the installation.New Federal Law To Protect East End EstuariesLegislation supported to Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) that reauthorizes the National Estuary Program (NEP), has been signed into law by President Barack Obama.The law authorizes $26.5 million in funding for the Program, which includes two nationally recognized estuaries on Long Island: the Long Island Sound and the Peconic Estuary. The funding will be used for water quality and wetlands restoration, as well as other local conservation projects to restore local beaches and protect wildlife.The bill ensures that funding will be prioritized to address urgent and challenging issues that threaten the ecological and economic well-being of coastal areas including nitrogen, harmful algae blooms, and flooding or wetland loss, according to Zeldin.“On the East End of Long Island, we must be committed to safeguarding our environment and improving our water quality,” said Zeldin, who is a member of the Long Island Sound Caucus and Congressional Shellfish Caucus in the House of Representatives. “Over the years, water quality on Long Island has suffered severely from issues such as pollution, overdevelopment and the dumping of dredged materials. This new law would ensure that Long Island’s estuaries receive the funding needed to improve and protect our waterways.”Dr. Alison Branco, director of the Peconic Estuary Program, said the new law would allow her program to update its Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan and tackle the challenges facing local estuaries today and into the future.The NEP was established in 1987 with 28 recognized estuaries across the U.S. The Great South Bay is not part of the NEP, so it does not quality for this funding.“However the Congressman is advocating for more of a focus on the Great South Bay because it’s an economically and ecologically critical body of water facing threats from pollution,” wrote his office in response to our inquiry. “Congressman Zeldin understands the need for improving our local water quality, which is why he is working in Congress to ensure all local waterways are protected and preserved for generations to come.”Hooray for the Osprey! (Courtesy of Bay Shore Fire Department.)