Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Inherit The Wind (And The Sun, Too)

Town To Use Wind Power, Solar Energy To Grow Clams

Folks, put this one in the "you can't make this stuff up" pile.

Only from the Town of Hempstead (Kate Murray, Stuporvisor), where, get this, alternative energy will be used -- what else would you expect? -- to grow clams.

Yes, clams! Not oysters. Not mussels. Not even a special taxing district for wayward whitefish. CLAMS!

Leave it to Kate & Kompany to brainstorm FLUPSY, the Floating Updwelling System, to cultivate "eight million hard clams per year" (yes, but how many of them will be registered to vote?) at the new "green" shellfish nursery in Point Lookout.

What next? Cultivating pods, all bearing a frightening resemblance to Town Councilman Tony Santino, at the Levy Preserve, ala Invasion of the Body Snatchers?

If Town of Hempstead residents didn't already have too many troubles (not truffles) on their plates -- from present property taxes to the future of the Nassau hub -- this shellfish chicanery, and the fishy press release (as in, catch and release) out of Hempstead Town Hall, might be cute, even funny.

Okay, it is funny, but certainly not as the folks at Town Hall intended.

We always knew the Town Supervisor to put pets before people. Adopt a dog. Adopt a cat. Adopt a Kate. But crustaceans?

Give us a break!

Saving the planet? How 'bout we save America's largest township first?

We're all for the environment, and for going green. Exploiting these selfless shellfish, however, for what is little more than political gain (how many of them will be eaten at the Town's Festival By The Sea, where clam eating and clam chowder contests abound), is just too much.

Clams on the half shell. Okay. But this idea of solar and wind harvested clams -- call them Angie Cullin's culls -- well, it seems rather half-baked to us.

Cultivating clams by wind and sun is great, Kate. At this point, though, we think that the residents of Hempstead Town are clam-oring for more!
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From the Town of Hempstead:

Using Mother Nature to Help Save the Planet:
Town Officials Launch Solar and Wind Powered Shellfish Nursery

Supervisor Kate Murray and members of the town board joined with LIPA and local environmental groups to launch Hempstead Town's new "green" shellfish nursery at the Department of Conservation and Waterways in Point Lookout. The nursery is an innovative project designed to utilize alternative energy to grow clams, an activity beneficial to both the ecosystem and the local shellfish industry.

"We are changing the way energy is harnessed to reduce Hempstead Town's carbon footprint on the planet," Supervisor Murray said. "By utilizing nature's power of wind and sun to raise clams, we are also keeping our waterways cleaner as clams help filter our bays." "In addition, the clams that we raise will help support recreational and commercial shellfishing," Councilwoman Cullin added.

The solar and wind powered shellfish nursery allows scientists to raise "seed" clams to deposit in local beds. Maintaining the hard shell clam population in our bays is closely linked to the ecological health of our local bodies of water. Utilizing an $180,000 contract from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority NYSERDA and $60,000 in funding from LIPA, the new FLUPSY system is an entirely self-sustaining design. FLUPSY (Floating Upweller System) supports a shellfish grow-out process that provides a controlled environment that force-feeds nutrient-rich water to infant shellfish, allowing them to grow more quickly with a higher survival rate. The clean energy technology and the innovative design of the shellfish nursery have slashed energy costs at the facility, while increasing its ability to raise shellfish by 800%. The town's new FLUPSY is expected to increase production to eight million hard clams per year.

"Hempstead Town's shellfish nursery accomplishes two important goals: environmental conservation and energy efficiency," Supervisor Murray said. "The FLUPSY also serves as a potential learning tool to other communities looking to capitalize on renewable resources."

Raising and cultivating "baby" clams is important to support our local shellfish industry, provide area recreation and, most importantly, keep our waterways healthy with natural marine life that filters our bays. As filter feeders, hard shell clams are a critical species that maintain and potentially improve water quality.

Francis J. Murray, Jr., NYSERDA President and CEO noted that "This shellfish project will significantly improve Hempstead's clam beds, reduce maintenance and operational seed clam-bed costs through clean energy efficiency and most important, help sustain the livelihood of our Long Island fisheries. These are all part of Governor Paterson's vision to improve New York's economy through energy efficiency. NYSERDA's $180,000 co-funding, along with LIPA and the Town, substantially improved this high-energy-consumption process and we look forward to receiving the results of the project."

"I am happy to partner with Supervisor Kate Murray and the Town of Hempstead for her plan to promote clean and renewable technology through the Town's FLUPSY project," said LIPA President and CEO Kevin S. Law. "LIPA remains committed to working with government officials, business leaders, and community members to help protect the environment while stimulating the local economy through the creation of clean energy jobs.

"Hempstead Town is at the forefront of environmental responsibility and has spearheaded several initiatives including utilizing solar energy at three government buildings, employing wind energy at Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve, utilizing electric cars among various town departments, and unveiling Long Island's first fleet of natural gas taxis. Additionally, the Conservation and Waterways Department hosts a self-relying "green" energy solar house, and is currently completing a fueling station that will provide pure hydrogen, blended hydrogen compressed natural gas, as well as pure natural gas for a variety of vehicles.

"I want to thank NYSERDA and LIPA for working closely with the town to support innovative uses of alternative energy," concluded Murray. "The work we do today will lay the groundwork for a cleaner planet for future generations."
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Hmm. Francis J. Murray, Jr. Any relation to Kate?


  1. With blighted downtowns throughout Hempstead Town, illegal housing everywhere you turn, and the Islanders ready to strike a deal with Mayor Bloomberg, Kate can only come up with this? Where are the big ideas and innovative solutions for tomorrow?

    If Kate really wants to make a dent in the Town's carbon footprint, why doesn't she require all new construction to be LEED certified? Or how about converting the Town fleet of cars and trucks to hybrids? Or better yet, how about putting an end to those wasteful Murraygrams, and now just recently Clavingrams (take a look inside your recent school tax bill for a personal note from Don himself)?

    We need smart, innovative leaders to transform Hempstead Town. Kate Murrary is not and will never be one those leaders.

  2. Kate can't resist a cheap publicity opportunity, especially when it relates to the latest Town of Hempstead science project. I echo the previous comments. Hempstead's challenges have never been more pressing or apparent, and yet she seems content to focus on the trivial in an effort to avoid the obvious. Presumably this is an attempt to create distractions designed to convince voters that she has been an effective supervisor.

  3. murray and clavin, along with the hempstead town board are living in a world of fifty years ago that no longer exists. rather than roll up their sleeves and attempt to tackle some of the problems,they take the easy way out and latch onto some hip new fashion or trend to distract the voters from the obvious reality-that she has been a total flop as supervisor,and what makes anyone think that another four years will result in any meaningful changes?