Sustainable Long Island and the PSEG Foundation Launch Regional Rain Garden Website

On Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 Sustainable Long Island along with the PSEG Foundation, hosted a press conference on the critical condition of Long Island’s aquifers, green infrastructure practices and water conservation. Guest speakers at the conference included Charlotte Biblow, Esq., Farrell Fritz, P.C., Sustainable Long Island Board President, John O’Connell, Vice President Transmission and Distribution, PSEG Long Island, Sustainable Long Island Board Member, L. Von Kuhen Ph.D., Executive Director, Sustainable Long Island, Rusty Schmidt, Landscape Ecologist, Nelson, Pope & Voorhis LLC., and Jack Schnirman, City Manager, City of Long Beach.

Attendance at the press conference included members of the press and public, PSEG Long Island employees, Sustainable Long Island Board Members, the Suffolk County Water Authority’s Director of Strategic Initiatives Tyrand Fuller, and the Town of North Hempstead’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Erin Reilley. “We are thrilled with the rain garden that Sustainable Long Island and NEFCU helped the Town install at Clark Botanic Garden”, said Town Chief Sustainability Officer Erin Reilley. “It’s a great teaching garden for our residents, and it’s helped us address drainage issues- and the butterflies and bees love it.”

Landscape Ecologist, Rusty Schmidt, discussed how rain gardens are an important tool toward clean water and environmental conservation, as they are used to reduce stormwater runoff, and improve the health of the surrounding waterways.  In addition, Schmidt emphasized how rain gardens promote the infiltration of rainwater into the ground, thus recharging our underground aquifers, Long Island’s primary drinking water source. Sustainable Long Island has undertaken rain garden planting and beautification efforts at Teatro Yerbabruja Performing Arts Center in Central Islip, East Islip High School, the Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson, the Cove Animal Rescue in Glen Cove, and the City of Long Beach.

Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman spoke about the important work the municipality has conducted alongside Sustainable Long Island to date. “As we strive to be a model of resiliency for the region, rain gardens are a natural and beautiful aspect of Long Beach’s comprehensive plan to mitigate flooding and make our community stronger, smarter, and safer,” said Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman. “We strongly support and encourage Sustainable Long Island’s efforts to educate communities to create more sustainable living spaces, as they have in our City.”

The newly launched rain garden website has been made possible by funding provided by the PSEG Foundation. Sustainable Long Island Executive Director L. Von Kuhen said: “We encourage homeowners, business owners and municipalities to consider the many benefits that rain gardens can give their properties, providing habitat for beautiful native plants, while preserving the quality of our drinking water and protecting our bays, harbors and waterways.  Please visit to find out how to build your rain garden, choose appropriate plants, or use the interactive map to locate a rain garden near you.”

To view News12 Long Island’s coverage of the press conference, please visit Sustainable Long Island’s YouTube page.

For questions, please contact Gabrielle Lindau, Director of Communication and Development, at 516-873-0230 or


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