On Monday, May 16th, the House unanimously passed “Save, Don’t Sell Plum Island”, Bill H.R. 1887 after it breezed through a vote by the House Homeland Security Committee on April 28th. Introduced last year by sponsor Congress member Lee Zeldin, 1st District of New York, this bill reverses a 2008 decision to put the island up for sale, which would lead to the destruction of the island, and lead to future development.
“Plum Island is truly a natural, cultural and historical treasure that has been cherished by our local community since before the 1700s, which is why protecting this critical land is so important,” Zeldin said in part of his sponsorship for the bill.
Plum Island, also referred to as “Treasure Island” by supporters, is an 843-acre island located near the tip of Long Island’s North Fork. Once a former federal research facility, most of the island remains undeveloped and in it’s natural state, and is home to hundreds of species of birds, seals, plants, and is home to many endangered species. One main component allows the transfer of ownership to the state or local government, or a non-profit which would provide education, research, conservation, and employment opportunities for Long Islanders.
This is a great feat for Long Island, the state of New York, and most importantly, Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin to be able to bring a positive light to the pro-environment stance taken it was is normally an anti-environmental atmosphere. Now that it has worked through the House and Congress, the bill needs continued support to make it through Senate, signed by President Obama before the year’s end.