What is LINAP?
The levels of nitrogen on Long Island are destructive to the environment, harming both our surface and ground waters. But we can turn the tide. The Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) is a transformative multiyear effort to make meaningful reductions in nitrogen levels.
LINAP is a collaboration between the DEC, the Long Island Regional Planning Council (LIRPC), and Suffolk and Nassau counties, with input from multiple partners and stakeholders.
LINAP is one of the most significant environmental initiatives since the historic preservation of the Pine Barrens nearly three decades ago. LINAP launched in 2015 when New York State, with strong support from Long Island's legislative delegation and environmental community, appropriated $5 million to develop LINAP.
LINAP focuses on how best to reduce nitrogen loading to groundwater and surface water through technical, management, and regulatory/policy actions. Nitrogen is the leading cause of water quality deterioration in Long Island's estuaries. Excess nitrogen can cause toxic algal blooms that lead to low oxygen conditions, fish kills, and degraded wetlands and marine habitats. Nitrogen also contaminates the groundwater which is the sole source of Long Island's drinking water.
LINAP's primary goals are:
- Assess nitrogen pollution in Long Island waters,
- Identify sources of nitrogen to surface waters and groundwater,
- Establish nitrogen reduction endpoints (ecological endpoints are desirable conditions in surface waters),
- Develop an implementation plan to achieve reductions.
Under LINAP, numerous multi-year initiatives are underway to decrease the amount of nitrogen entering our surface and ground waters. Most of this nitrogen comes from wastewater and fertilizers. The LINAP Scope (PDF) includes project goals, planning structure and tasks, and was drafted with input from stakeholder comments during five public meetings in 2015 and 2016.
The LINAP Fact Sheet (PDF) has been developed to provide an overview of LINAP, the sources of nitrogen and the impacts on the environment.
The LINAP e-newsletter provides readers with a summary of information and current actions that LINAP partners are engaged in. We encourage you to sign up for the LINAP Newsletter.