The Many Facets of Sustainability
Sustainable Long Island’s
Sixth Annual Sustainability Conference
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Carlyle on the Green at Bethpage State Park
Sustainable Long Island held its Sixth Annual Sustainability Conference on Friday, June 1, 2012 at the Carlyle on the Green, in Bethpage State Park, highlighted by a keynote address from Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and the 2nd Annual “Getting It Done” Awards. “The Many Facets of Sustainability” provided an opportunity for attendees to discuss the evolution of sustainability, where it has come from, and where it is headed.
Over the past decade sustainability has evolved to incorporate many different meanings, including elements of environmental health, economic development, and social equity In regard to the land and environment, sustainability means making sure the communities we live in can continue to achieve what they are meant to achieve; clear water, fresh air, clean land, healthy food, and being able to provide all people with a high quality of life.
A recent surge in awareness of this concept has transformed the sustainability movement into a modern, local, global, trend that has moved from the meeting halls of community centers to the mainstream public eye. Throughout the day attendees recognized sustainability as more than just a topic for an Annual Conference… It’s an issue that has expanded from simple ideas into a way of life for many people nationwide, including large segments of Long Island’s population.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s keynote address stressed to the crowd that, “If you have not started to plan, you have already failed.” He described projects in Babylon and Wyandanch – long-standing efforts in which he has partnered with Sustainable Long Island, and said a better future for Long Island could be created by addressing the environment, social equity and planning.
“How do we address the future of sustainability? We address all of it,” said the County Executive. “We will create a sustainable future for Long Island.”
After Bellone’s keynote, Sustainable Long Island presented the 2nd Annual “Getting It Done” Awards, honoring the co-chairs of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC) in Kevin Law and Stuart Rabinowitz, as well as Town of Southampton Councilwoman Bridget Fleming and Former Village of Farmingdale Mayor George “Butch” Starkie. The honorees received this award in a presentation ceremony which highlighted their hard work in taking projects from early concepts to successful completion and their efforts in bringing together local communities and municipalities.
Community members and activists, government officials, planners, builders, decision makers, and other stakeholders were among the hundreds of attendees gathered for the daylong event, which also featured a “Hall of Exhibitors” highlighting their green businesses and services, including our very own High School Fellows discussing the projects they’ve been working on over the past year.
511 NY Rideshare – Cornell Cooperative Extension, Suffolk County – Empower Solar – Grassroots Environmental Education – Sustainable Long Island’s High School Fellows Lime Energy – Natural Systems Utilities – Northeast Organic Farming Association of NY – PK Metals – Progressive Marketing Group – Suffolk County Community College
Transit Solutions – Event Sponsors
Attendees then participated in interactive workshops on a range of topics including brownfield redevelopment, economic growth, greening Long Island, and food, health, and the economy. These thought-provoking workshops touched on redevelopment plans, food projects, housing and transportation issues, and major pending projects across Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
Throughout the day, Sustainable Long Island emphasized the face of sustainability today to be the people who care most, those who have identified critical situations, developed tools toward creative solutions, and provided resources so the public can advance sustainability.
A morning plenary discussing the evolution of sustainability was moderated by Larry Levy of Hofstra’s National Center for Suburban Studies with Dr. Robert Brinkman (Sustainability Studies at Hofstra), Carrie Meek-Gallagher (Suffolk County Water Authority), Elaine Gross (ERASE Racism), and Christ Kent (Farrell Fritz) providing their input on the important issue.
The event also featured a “Sustainable Samplings” Luncheon where restaurants from across Long Island provided their signature dishes, which gave attendees a true taste of Long Island. The participating restaurants showed their generosity and support toward Sustainable Long Island by donating all of the food and drink offered to the crowd.We’d like to encourage all of our friends to visit these fine establishments in the future and enjoy what their full menus have to offer.
American Classic Ice Cream – Ayhan’s Shish Kebab – Bedell Cellars – Bonnie Michelle Catering – Cafe Fromaggio – Dark Horse Restaurant – LL Dent – Page One Restaurant – Papa Razzi – Springbrook Farm – Suburban Eats – Taste 99 at the Carlyle – Uncle Bacala’s – Verona Ristorante
As the conference progressed, it was clear the conversation on sustainability would continue. Discussion moving forward will include: how the growing needs of this generation can be met without jeopardizing those of the next generation? Can we guarantee an equitable life for all stakeholders? Where will this movement lead next?
Sustainable Long Island hopes all attendees left with the understanding that sustainability is vitally important to all of us and that you can make a difference in achieving it!
- View the Sixth Annual Sustainability Conference Program: Part 1 and Part 2
- View the Sixth Annual Sustainability Conference Ejournal Ads: Part 1 and Part 2
- Additional information on the 2nd annual “Getting It Done” Awards honoring those who move beyond the talk toward implementation; featuring Kevin Law, Stuart Rabinowitz, Bridget Fleming, and “Butch” Starkie. Read more for details…
- View additional photos (over 100) of the Sixth Annual Sustainability Conference
Here’s what some attendees had to say!
“It was a real privilege to meet so many wonderful and dedicated people. I hope there will be more opportunities for collaboration in the future.” – Penny Stern, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACOEM, Director, Preventive Medicine, Department of Population Health, North Shore University Hospital
“It was a wonderful conference and I think everyone there felt educated, energized and full of admiration… You all should have a great sense of satisfaction and renewed confidence in the future of this important organization.” – Marge Rogatz, President, Community Advocates, Sustainable Long Island Founder
“(My teachers and ) had a great time and met many professionals in the business sector as well as the environment field that will be so helpful to our Career Academy Programs. Sustainable Long Island did a fantastic job putting this event together and providing people the opportunity to mingle and get to know one another. I will be sitting down with my administration and providing them with the information that I obtained during this event and how important it is for schools to connect with the outside world.” – Israel Malinowitzer, Director of Careers and Student Services, Director of Business, Technology, and Family Consumer Science, East Islip High School
“Sustainable Long Island did a tremendous job with the conference. It was extraordinarily interesting and informative. I would very much like to become more involved with Sustainable Long Island.” – Esta Algava-Czik, Esq., Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP
“Thanks for the great conference! Great to connect to the Long Island agricultural community.” – Ulla Kjarval, Food blogger/columnist
“Wow! Amazing turnout at Long Island’s sustainability conference. New Yorkers care!” – Raina Russo, EcoOutfitters
Jane and Marty Schwartz
Program Part 1
Program Part 2