“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.”
– Dr. Seuss
Long before “going green” was mainstream, Dr. Seuss’s Lorax spoke for the trees and warned of the dangers of disrespecting the environment. Residents Forward is committed to advocating for our environment, our water, and our community, with an energy that would make the Lorax proud. We seek to build beauty, resiliency, sustainability, and vibrancy to the future of Port Washington. We do this in three main areas:
- Land Use
- Local Economy
Our work in this capacity often involves collaboration with government agencies, civic groups, and other local organizations, making this a truly communal undertaking. We thank our members who enable us to speak out on behalf of Port Washington.
“All day I’ve faced the barren waste without the taste of water, cool water…” – The Sons of Pioneers
Safeguarding our drinking water and ensuring that it remains sustainable is essential to our quality of life and our health.
In 2014, the PW Peninsula Aquifer Committee, launched 20 years prior, grew to become the Western Nassau Country Aquifer Committee comprised of elected officials, water suppliers, engineers, and environmentalists. Residents spearheaded the group’s efforts to ensure the long-term health of our drinking supply. Since then, the group has been fighting a New York City plan to reactivate Queens wells on the western border of Nassau County, potentially harming our groundwater.
In 2015, in response to the Queens well reactivation plan–which proposed to pump 33 million gallons per day from the Queens wells–the Western Nassau County Aquifer Committee submitted a proposal for a groundwater study by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), an independent and scientifically objective third party federal agency.
Residents believes that science and data are crucial to determining the future sustainability of our drinking supply. After identifying gaps in data, Residents worked with the USGS to develop a project proposal entitled “Analysis of the Hydrogeologic Framework, Groundwater Availability and Water-Supply Sustainability of Long Island.” Our goal was to address a series of groundwater quality and quantity issues, including industrial plumes and encroaching salt water, and create a study to tell us if our water use was sustainable.
We continue, as part of the Western Long Island Aquifer Committee, to fight against NYC reactivating the Queens wells, and we have requested that no renewal of permits for the wells be permitted until the findings of the sustainability study are available.
For over five decades, Residents Forward has been a community stakeholder in the comprehensive planning of the Greater Port Washington Peninsula. Working with residents, community stakeholders, and elected officials, Residents advocates for realistic, effective, and forward-looking policies and plans that support our community’s vision for Port Washington’s well-being, now and in the coming years. We also recommend the best ways to take action pursuant to these policies and plans and gauge their effectiveness. Residents has participated in the Town of North Hempstead’s Visioning Committees on key projects that will shape Port’s future, including:
- Creation of Blumenfeld Family Park.
- Creation of the 2005 Port Washington Shared Visioning Plan.
- Expansion of the Bay Walk on the west side of Shore Road.
- North Hempstead Beach Park Visioning, including the creation of a shoreline trail along Hempstead Harbor Park to Roslyn.
- Visioning of Port’s waterfront, including the Town Dock, Sunset Park, and waterfront multi-use trails.
- Planning for long-term parking and traffic solutions, including a commuter shuttle pilot from Soundview to the LIRR.
- Planning of the BW Waterfront Business District along Manhasset Bay.
All of these planning exercises involved community meetings, study of best practices, and stakeholder collaboration, yielding community-based zoning that enables developers and property owners to plan with an understanding of community needs and values. Each was consistent with the great value Residents Forward places on the role of community input in planning for a vibrant, resilient, sustainable, and beautiful Port Washington.
Today, a proposed high-rise development at 145 West Shore Road has put Residents Forward in the backwards position of commenting on a proposal that has no parameters set by the community as no visioning has occurred for this waterfront area. In October 2022, Residents Forward submitted these comments on Southern Land Company’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed project, and respectfully requested that the Town deem the DEIS grossly insufficient as it relates to drinking water, wastewater, density, height, bulk, subsurface conditions, stormwater management, public access to the waterfront, traffic, and tax revenue.
Residents works to keep our Main Street business area clean, vibrant, and beautiful. Many of our initiatives, including the Port Washington Mural Project, Clean Green Main Street/PW Give a Litter Bit, and PW Blooms, are designed to revitalize Main Street and make it aesthetically pleasing to Port Washington residents and visitors alike. We focus on creating public areas that encourage people to gather, mingle, stroll, shop, and explore.
Our newest initiative, Walk PW, is a community-powered pedestrian wayfinding signage platform that targets people who live here, inspiring them to walk more. Look out for signs around town, reminding you that cool things are closer than you think! The next time you’re about to get in your car to drive somewhere, let these images be a reminder to try walking instead.
Walk PW is sponsored by the Rimmer Family