1. What is Sustainable Long Island’s Mission?
Sustainable Long Island’s mission is to promote economic development, environmental health, and social equity for all Long Islanders, now and for generations to come. Sustainable Long Island is a catalyst and facilitator for sustainable development. We cultivate the conditions, identify resources and provide tools to advance sustainability on Long Island.

2. What is Sustainable Long Island’s Vision?
At Sustainable Long Island, we believe that every Long Islander has a right to live in a community with access to:

  1. – A thriving economy
  2. – A healthy environment
  3. – Quality and affordable food
  4. – Reliable public transportation
  5. – Clean land, water and air
  6. – Parks, community centers and recreational opportunities
  7. – Thriving downtowns with a mixture of retail, business. and housing
  8. – Safe streets and neighborhoods

3. When was Sustainable Long Island founded?
 Sustainable Long Island was founded in 1998 by a group of dedicated civic leaders seeking to challenge the economic, social, and environmental problems that they encountered living and working on Long Island. They sought to create an organization that would build bridges between people, government, developers, and funders; promote greater social equity for all Long Islanders; advance alternative forms of transportation to relieve dependence on cars; protect our shrinking open spaces; clean up and redevelop blighted properties; and boost economic growth in communities across Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
4. What is sustainable development?
Sustainable Long Island describes sustainable development as economic development that protects the environment and promotes social equity.  It is a comprehensive approach that encompasses:

  1. – Economic Growth: the need for vibrant downtowns, jobs, and a thriving economy
  2. – Environmental Health: the need to use our resources in a way that does not cause harm to our health or the environment
  3. – Social Equity: the need to create opportunities for all Long Island communities

5. Why is sustainable development beneficial to Long Island?
Over the last 50 years, our communities were built and have matured without adequate planning, leaving an aftermath of suburban sprawl, fragmented transportation systems, depleting natural resources, segregated neighborhoods and schools, and deteriorating downtowns.

Sustainable development reverses these unfavorable trends and follows principles and practices that help us keep what is best about Long Island so that future generations can enjoy a comparable or better quality of life.

6. What issues does Sustainable Long Island address?
Sustainable Long Island builds partnerships with individuals and organizations to address planning issues that impact our current and future quality of life, such as:

  1. – Land use and redevelopment
  2. – Business development
  3. – Transportation choices
  4. – Downtown revitalization
  5. – Natural resource consumption
  6. – Housing options
  7. – Food Access

7. Who funds Sustainable Long Island?
Sustainable Long Island receives its funding through both public and private channels, including support from foundations, government agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and individual donors.

8. What communities has Sustainable Long Island worked in?
Click here to see the many communities we’ve worked in.

9. How does Sustainable Long Island determine which communities to work in?
Sustainable Long Island has narrowed its focus to many of Long Island’s most distressed communities, determined by local planning departments. After being invited to work with a community, staff conducts a feasibility analysis to determine the likelihood of success. Factors include: need, community and political will, clearly defined work area, relationship between the community and government, and funding availability.

10. How does Sustainable Long Island work with communities?
Sustainable Long Island helps communities across Long Island identify priorities for development and develop practical strategies to build safer, stronger, healthier, and more vibrant downtowns. We bring together diverse stakeholders, in to a comprehensive planning process and connect them with the resources they need to create a shared image for the future of the community.

11. What is a brownfield?
A brownfield is any former commercial or industrial site where actual or perceived contamination impedes development. Brownfields are often former dry cleaners, warehouses, gas stations, and other industrial or commercial parcels and, while the businesses have long since departed, the contamination may remain in the ground.

According to recent estimates by the NYS Department of Environmental Protection and the US Environmental Protection Agency, there are as many as 6,800 brownfields on Long Island, all of which could be redeveloped. It is estimated that redeveloping Long Island’s brownfields could generate 60,000 full-time jobs, $6.8 billion in business revenue, and $340 million in tax revenue – all without infringing on a single acre of Long Island’s dwindling open spaces.

12. What work does Sustainable Long Island do with brownfields?
Sustainable Long Island recognizes that brownfields redevelopment is the future of growth on Long Island. We map brownfields where they occur in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, advocate for legislation, promote cleanup in communities where we facilitate downtown revitalization, and always strive to move redevelopment forward.

13. What is food equity?
Food equity is the notion that access to fresh produce and healthy food options is not universal and that some communities are at a disadvantage in the regional food system. Communities with limitations in resources, disposable income, language, and transportation often have restricted access to, and knowledge about, a variety of healthy food options.

Supermarkets, farmers’ markets, and community gardens tend not to be as readily available to people in low income, low access communities. The result can be an over-dependence on neighborhood convenience stores with limited offerings of fresh foods sold, frequently for a high price, leading to myriad health and nutritional and long-term sustainability implications.

14. What work does Sustainable Long Island do with food equity?
Projects includes launching and providing technical assistance to numerous youth-run farmers’ markets in low-income communities; releasing a report card assesing the state of our region’s food system; and releasing a food access mapping project that identifies supermarket locations across Long Island, illustrating the availability and gaps of fresh, affordable food on an interactive map located on the Long Island Index’s website.

15. Is Sustainable Long Island a lobbyist? 
No. Sustainable Long Island advocates policies at the village, town, county and state levels that will revitalize emerging communities and foster greater social equity for all Long Islanders. Sustainable Long Island conducts policy analysis and influences policy development through white papers, manuals, and research on the latest issues on sustainable development.

16. Who does Sustainable Long Island work for? 
Sustainable Long Island work for communities.  The Sustainable Community Planning Process educates and engages stakeholders so that collectively they can identify responsible local solutions for their community. Those solutions are then translated into a sustainable community plan.

From the bottom-up, we work with the people who live in our neighborhoods—residents of all ages, community leaders of all backgrounds—coming together over shared concern for their community to develop new solutions. From the top-down, we work with public officials and other leaders to change policy and identify resources at the village, town, county and state levels to achieve those solutions.

17. Where is Sustainable Long Island located?
Sustainable Long Island’s office is located at 399 Conklin Street, Suite 202, Farmingdale, NY 11735.  However, we work across Long Island in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties.