Focus on a Conservation Advisory Commission

Focus on a Conservation Advisory Commission




The Incorporated Village of Ocean Beach (celebrating its 100th anniversary as an incorporated village in 2021) is the largest of 16 communities of Fire Island, a 32-mile-long barrier island south of Long Island, located in Suffolk County. With an off-season population of 24 (2018) that expands exponentially during the summer, the village is typically reached by ferry from Long Island. VOBEC was formed in 1979 as a seven-member Mayoral-appointed advisory group, originally known as the Conservation Commission. Our mandate is not only to advise the Mayor, but to educate the community on environmental issues relevant to our coastal community. We accomplish this objective by hosting an annual environmental awareness day, publishing a quarterly newsletter, coordinating annual beach clean ups and advising the Village on a wide range of environmental topics.


Environmental Awareness Day

Each year VOBEC hosts an Environmental Awareness Day, which includes speakers on a host of timely environmental topics that affect Ocean Beach. In past years, topics have included the role of beneficial insects, as well as plantings designed to attract essential pollinators; sustainable fisheries in the Great South Bay, focusing on the cottage industry of Kelp Farming; the potential impact of off-shore drilling on Ocean Beach; and current efforts to revitalize the Great South Bay. We hope to have a speaker discuss green infrastructure at our 15th Annual Environmental Awareness Day later this season.



As part of our mandate to educate the community, VOBEC prepares a newsletter dedicated to environmental issues relevant to Ocean Beach on a quarterly basis, and contributes environmentally focused articles to the Village of Ocean Beach Bulletin Board Facebook page on a monthly basis. A collection of past newsletters can be found at, our website dedicated to keeping the community apprised of up-to-date environmental developments in Ocean Beach. VOBEC will continue to bring speakers to the community, and provide timely practical environmental information as part of this mandate.


Beach Cleanup

For over 20 years, VOBEC has been spearheading an annual beach clean-up in September, which is organized globally by the Ocean Conservancy in conjunction with its International Coastal Cleanup. VOBEC manages the event locally, debris on the beach is collected by volunteers, and VOBEC submits a summary of debris data to the Ocean Conservancy for tabulation into its annual report. Up until three years ago, this was done solely by Ocean Beach. In 2018, we expanded the project to include other communities. This year, VOBEC will be coordinating its cleanup efforts with the Fire Island communities of Oakleyville, Point O’Woods, Ocean Bay Park, Seaview, Ocean Beach, Corneille Estates, Summer Club, Robbins Rest, Atlantique and the Lighthouse Park.


General Environmental Issues

Although Ocean Beach is a seasonal community, VOBEC members meet year-round. Throughout the year VOBEC provides input to the Village on a wide range of environmental topics, including the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, recycling programs in place in the Village, noise abatement issues, creation of a list of native trees, brush and shrubs suitable for planting in Ocean Beach, and was able to coordinate the Village joining with other communities along the East Coast to successfully oppose the re-opening of offshore drilling and seismic blasting. In addition, VOBEC was instrumental in establishing an environmental awareness program at the Ocean Beach Youth Group summer camp. We strive to adapt to the needs of the community, so when Suffolk County eliminated plastic bags, we were able to distribute reusable grocery bags made from recycled plastic to residents of Ocean Beach and nearby communities.


(Below is information from VOBECs website)

LONG ISLAND WINDFARM No Longer Tilting at Windmills

In June of 2019, New York State promulgated the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) which formalized a number of climate goals for the State including a goal that by 2050, greenhouse gas emission levels in the State, will be reduced by 85 percent when compared to the baseline year of 1990. To achieve this goal, the CLCPA identified a number of ambitious targets for the power sector; specifically requiring that by 2030, 70 percent of the State’s electricity must come from renewable energy sources. In line with this target, with potential implications for coastal residents, is the requirement that by 2035, at least 9,000 MW of electricity should come from offshore wind energy. This is a substantive increase over a prior goal of generating 2400 MW of power from wind by 2030.


Fire Island residents should be aware that on October 23, 2019, the Governor announced that the State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) had finalized contracts with two companies to provide approximately 1700 MW of offshore wind power which is enough to power up to 1 million homes. The two leasehold areas are depicted below or click here

Information on the State’s Master Plan for offshore wind, various fact sheets, as well as information concerning various studies and resources both completed and ongoing relating to offshore wind impacts can be found here.

The offshore wind projects associated with the State Master Plan have been the subject of a Generic Environmental Impact Statement published in May 2018 (GEIS), and more recently in February, 2020, a Supplemental GEIS was published and approved by the PSC. The SGEIS was needed to an expected additional procurement of approximately 1,800 MW of offshore wind in the near term. These and other documents such as comments on these documents by various stakeholders can be found on the NYPSC website in PSC Case number 18-e-0071.

The timeline listed on this website suggests an approximate commissioning date of this first phase of the project (1700 MW) as 2024.

More recently, in 2020, NYSERDA has provisionally awarded two additional offshore wind projects, totaling 2,490 megawatts. Empire Wind 2 (1,260 megawatts) and Beacon Wind (1,230 megawatts) of Equinor Wind US LLC will generate enough clean energy to power 1.3 million homes and will be major economic drivers, supporting:

  • More than 5,200 direct jobs;
  • Combined economic activity of $8.9 billion in labor, supplies, development and manufacturing statewide; and
  • $47 million in workforce development and just access funding.

Putting the state’s equity goals squarely into action, Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind will deliver significant economic benefits to disadvantaged communities and support the responsible retirement of aging fossil fuel plants in Queens and Nassau County.

To maximize the long-term economic benefits to the State from the regional development of offshore wind, the selected projects leverage almost $3 of private funding for every $1 of public funding for a combined investment of $644 million for resilient port facilities in the Capital Region and Brooklyn. These investments will establish the nation’s first offshore wind tower manufacturing facility ready to service both offshore and onshore wind farms in the region at the Port of Albany and a cutting-edge staging facility and operations and maintenance hub at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal.


With this award, New York State has five offshore wind projects in active development, demonstrating the State’s unparalleled appetite for clean energy and growing momentum in establishing major ecosystems for workforce development, manufacturing, and operations and maintenance to support the region’s offshore wind projects and the development of a green economy. The figure below provides a map of the offshore wind under development, along with locations of proposed port or project facilities. Of note, under this plan, major components of the projects will be manufactured and shipped out of Albany, NY. ‘’

On June 24th, BOEM (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management), issued a notice of intent to prepare an EIS for the Construction and Operation Plan for the Empire Wind Projects. and opened a 30 day public comment period open through July 19th.

To learn more about this project and to support the public comment process, there are three virtual public meetings scheduled: June 30, 2021 (5 pm), July 8, 2021 (5 pm), July 13, 2021 (1 pm). See.

Residents of Fire Island concerned about visual impacts of the above projects might be interested in a simulation of what the Empire Wind Project might look like during the day and at night when viewed from Jones Beach.

The following link provides a recent (April 21) status update on some of the above projects.


Green Infrastructure on Fire Island


There is a new approach towards managing stormwater that is increasing in popularity and is being more widely deployed in our cities and communities: green infrastructure. According to various regulations, “green infrastructure” is defined as the range of measures that reduce stormwater flows to sewer systems or to various bodies of water. As one can imagine, this is particularly important on Fire Island, where water surrounds us and is such an important part of our ecosystem.

As rainwater falls in undeveloped areas, it is absorbed and filtered by soil and plants. In developed areas, the water cannot soak into the ground in this manner. Consequently, rainwater must be handled through a combination of storm drains, drainage pipes, and water treatment systems that we are all familiar with. Green infrastructure endeavors to use various environmentally friendly measures to reduce and treat stormwater flow in place, and in a more natural way.

There are any number of things that constitute green infrastructure, but those that are most appropriate for Fire Island residents are: rainwater harvesting, rain gardens, and planter boxes; permeable pavements may also be appropriate in certain circumstances, such as community common areas. In this newsletter, we describe two of these topics: rainwater harvesting and rain gardens.

Why bother taking these kinds of actions in our small community? Among other things, these green infrastructure ideas have been shown to improve habitat and water quality, provide flood protection, prevent erosion, and save water. Bottom Line: with green infrastructure, it is possible for each of us in Ocean Beach to help preserve our precious aquifer and improve our resilience as we battle climate change.


Plant A Rain Garden


This time of year we are all longing for the beach and planning for spring time return. If you’re planning this year includes changes to your landscape, consider a rain garden. A rain garden is a shallow planted depression designed to hold water until it soaks into the soil. Rain gardens are an important solution to storm water runoff problems.

Image seen in Summit Soil and Water Conservation District -


Design Tips

• Think of a rain garden just like a border or foundation
planting rather than a beloved specimen tree.

• Rain gardens are ideally located in an area where rainwater runoff naturally occurs and can be easily collected. This may be near the house where downspouts capture roof runoff or out in the landscape where water from the roof, lawn and other impervious surfaces can be captured.

• Rain gardens can be dug with standard garden tools. Regardless of the depth, the goal is to keep the bottom of the garden level. A low berm should be created around the downhill sides of the garden to contain the water.

• Pick a shape that works with the rest of your garden design. A rain garden does not need a specific shape to function
properly. However, because you want the water to be
absorbed before it runs off, a good rule of thumb is that the rain garden should be about twice as long as it is wide.

• A rain garden can be as formal or as natural as you like. Native plants work best, and seedlings are easier to establish than seeds when you are going to make a rain garden so you don’t have to worry about the seeds washing away. Also try to use native grasses, sedges, and rushes in at least one-third to one-half of the rain garden. Those plants possess extremely deep root systems.

• A rain garden is comprised of three wetness zones. In the lowest zone, plant species should be selected that can tolerate short periods of standing water as well as fluctuating water levels and dry conditions. In the middle zone, vegetation will need to tolerate both wet and dry conditions. In the upper zone, along the outer edges of the berm, plants should be selected that prefer dryer conditions. 

• A rain garden doesn’t have to be separate from other plantings. Consider making a depression within a perennial bed or shrub border (especially if space is tight and you don’t have room for a larger rain garden that stands alone).

• In the first year, mulch with shredded hardwood mulch or seaweed (not pine bark or wood chips, which will float away), weed regularly and dig a notch into the berm – see the diagram above for a depiction of an appropriate berm — on the low side to allow about half the water to flow out for the first year. This will help support young plants that can’t handle a large volume of water.

There are many examples of rain garden design available. Take a look at the following sites for some ideas:


More information can be found at, or email us at VOBEC is grateful to receive our funding from the Ocean Beach Community Fund.

Camille Guigliano

Current VOBEC Co-chair and VOBEC member since 2002. Seasonal resident of Ocean Beach since 1999. Created and managed Tools for Schools (a group of Pfizer volunteers that donated used office supplies to NYC schools) from 1988-2005. With two others, organized and managed Prospect Heights Recycling in Brooklyn from 1989 to 1992, until curbside recycling could be implemented in that neighborhood. Traveled to Borneo in 1993 to work with Birute Gadikas to help preserve the orangutan in the wild. Volunteered in the American Museum of Natural History from 1994 to 2003. Traveled to Namibia in 1998 to work with Laurie Marker to help preserve the cheetah in the wild. Former Associate Director of Pfizer, Inc. Currently a consultant in the pharmaceutical industry.

David Lieber

Current VOBEC Co-Chair and VOBEC member since 2011. Seasonal resident of Ocean Beach since 1965. Memorabilia Sales Manager for “Gotta Have It”. Lived in Germany for 18 years and learned successful environmental strategies. Interested in sports, history, music and fishing.





The Town of Gorham is in Ontario County in Western New York. Named after Nathaniel Gorham, politician and merchant from Massachusetts, it covers an area of over 50-square miles. The population, according to the 2010 census is 4,274. The town was created in 1789 and is bordered to the west by Canandaigua Lake and to the east by Yates County and Seneca Lake. Gorham is known as the “Bandstand of the Finger Lakes”, a result of the Extensive marching band extravaganza that occurs each year in town.

Medina Mustang Marching Band @ Gorham - YouTube - Click on the above image


The Conservation Board is a five-member board that meets on the first Wednesday of February, April, June, August, October and December, other months if needed. Board members are appointed to four-year terms by the Town Board. The chairman and vice-chairman are selected by the Members. The conservation Board’s responsibility is the preservation and protection of agricultural, natural, cultural, recreational and scenic preservation and protection of agricultural, natural, cultural, recreational and scenic Gorham property owners in the pursuit of its responsibilities and the development of sound open space planning. 

1. Isolation, Merge, Loop (1-25-21)

Isolation, Merge, Loop. The ideal to open communications of all CAC is a priority. These words have been an Agenda item here. We also must Loop and Merge with our Town, Planning , appeal, Boards. Or Remain Isolated. After completion of our Solid Food Waste Pilot at next meeting, I have in Agenda also again, Merge, Loop. If not, self-isolation occurs. I have had to go to other meetings, to learn even Basics. Other CACs understand some things and have dedicated work, that they allow me to view. It’s been my best aid. I will certainly attend this offered meeting, if nothing else than to show support and listen.


2. Gorham Conservation Board’s Mission 2-21-21)

GCB (Gorham Conservation Board). Gorham, 53 Square Miles, Most of which is Prime Farmland with Refreshing Air. 3 Watersheds, 7 Miles of shoreline on Beautiful Canandaigua Lake. Much the Same mission as many have, Ours is Protecting and Preserving our Natural Resources along with the Towns Natural Environment. Canandaigua Lake certainly is not part of our “Open Space Index”, yet it is much part of our Local mission. Growing from being just a CAC, to a GCB is much work and many things need work. To Improve = to change. Our board has merged and will Loop. Isolation of a Board is Certainly not a great value to grow on.

3. “Ponder outside the “Open Space” knowns” (2-21-21)

Let’s ponder outside the “Open Space” knowns. Our Local Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association is very Active, it has campaigned outreach of lawns without fertilizers on Lake Front Property’s and all with interest. The GCB, in turn started a Pilot Aeration Program. A few Lakefront Homes and lawns, Compacted soil is considered, We consider the Lakefront lands as the last line of defense against runoff. Much of the Pervious land has fallen to growth. Simply, We Aeriated some Lakefront Lawn area to see if this can help both Runoff and Lawn Growth. Covid had hit and delayed the repeat of Aeration, it will be done again in spring while also being monitored from year to year.


4. Food Waste – 1 (2-21-21)

2 Years ago, the GCB was tasked by the Town Board. “Take the Hill” ( the landfill ). Dent it. We found the Largest Fruit of that Tree , Food waste at 22% as an interest. Collecting and Vermiculture was discussed, The Town of Canandaigua already was collecting and gave us any help with Information we desired. 2 Informal surveys over 2 years were done. We fell into what the DEC discussed in the December Annual meeting -CAPACITY.. There is So much lack of anywhere to take the collected waste, that we even discussed Trenches right here. Revenue loss,, and fact of WINTER,, makes the trench out of reach today. Where to drop the waste is a huge issue, collecting is simple.

Our School has been collecting for many Years. We desire to let our citizens decide this with another Pilot Program. Drop a bucket at the Transfer Station, grab an empty clean one. Our hope is merging Home, School, and Town to form a Loop. If at School, and they can follow thru at home, perhaps it becomes a normal to do so if the option is clear. Ontario County will aid some as we test Viability for both Town and County. This can only prosper if The GCB’s Council is game for an extra workload, along with the Town Boards aid. Pilot Food Waste Collection will begin this Spring.


5. Development and Preservation in Gorham (2-21-21)

Not being a Corridor at this point creates value. Example Time, At Our last meeting we discussed a Development, Before the application is even in. Planning can be considered before to some extent. Code allows only a numbered amount of new Homes per year, Growth is max of amount of homes allowed per year, yet a slow growth. We take a neighborly approach to the other municipalities. Open Space wise, A 3-acre Retention was set in a runoff area. The Town finished purchase of a large acreage Farm, which will now always have the Scenic View and remain farmed forever. I can take some pictures, I’m not sure if the town has put a sign up on that scenic view of the lake, from the road edge of the farm where a parking spot should be by now. The town used the State grant available with the “Open Space, Parcel Ranking”, yet we paid also, due to grant did not cover cost. It was either 50 or 80 acres that time, I’m thinking 80. We purchased it, and then gave it to the finger lakes land trust, whom monitor it forever. I will verify which acreage further after I review some papers. The land has a farmhouse, and is not allowed to ever build another home on these acres. The same farmer will continue farming. Understand, it was bought at the price as if it was developed.

6. Chairman’s Role (2-21-21)

As Chairman, I will build a Rock of a Board, one that Floats. Now that I have great volunteers on Council this Rock will set local pace, and we intend to skip it around. I often mention Pervious, Merge, Loop. Communications of not just our Town, but other CACs. are to be developed.


7. “The Lifeblood of our Region” (3-1-21)

I have 4 in council, 1 is not active at all. Yet 1 is the Canandaigua Lake watershed association President also. Our Town supervisor is co-chair of the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council and attends every meeting of the GCB. I could say the Lake is a major mission. With both these people, it creates a merge of course. The watershed council is 13 municipalities of each areas choice to send those in charge, such as supervisors. They do big projects and much to keep our water potable, etc. (big bucks from all ). The watershed association- well now that’s got pro and con. It’s around 1,000 volunteers whom all live on the lake front lands. They collect heavy dues from members and have some clout. They are all volunteers and do some water testing, some science work, and hunt for answers. They also aid via money to the shed’s council. I know Seneca lakes is further ahead and mean no insult of fact. It can also be members that think they own the lake and are specials. People renting out the cottages or homes, are issue to some. we went thru zebra mussels, now its quaggas, which are stronger. The big issue is Algae Blooms for Us. It can only be filtered by the city of Canandaigua system; it creates mass future issues perhaps. Zoning of the entire lake’s septics are done by another group. Lawn fertilizers,, OH MY. Lake land front is compacted or often granted variance to exceed allotted green #s to the land, which takes away pervious soils also. The state has a NO P(phosphorous) law of the NPK scale to be used, with some exception. Yes we believe run off of these and other run off, heavily contributes to the Lake algae issue. Run off of manure and other nutrients to faster cleaner ditches, along with drainage of some lands is in play. At this point I would fact how many homes, and an over populace of lake shore exists. The 2014 comp planner of the Council is titled,, Canandaigua Lake, The Lifeblood of Our Region.

8. Food Waste – 2 (3-1-21)

Year 2018, early 2018. The GCB is in failure. I’m still a new volunteer at that point. Was asked to take the board and build. 3 Things, other than Parcel ranking stick out. Tasked the Hill (landfill), the lake which is not mapped as our area, and lack of even 1 solid council member. I put out the Agenda and brought in advice to a meeting. 1) a school that was way ahead of the town, knew they were collecting due to I have custody of 2 Grandkids. 3 bins there, food waste-recyclables-trash, the waste was hauled to a vermiculture farm. 2) the vermiculture farm operator himself 3) The county , to tutors us so we can update the new council members. From that meeting forward, I work with all to merge and loop what’s going on, ideas, even the OOOP’s I reason the school.

The landfill is a public comment blah fest around here. We have yet to make an actual dent, this 1st pilot should go thru march 10 with appropriations. Covid had an increase of use of these. I’m going to make a controlled risk to scan viability. The County needs this more than the Town does, so it can forward or dismiss. The state is not ready to take collected waste, there is no area much as landfills, in a 30-mile zone. Its nasty, huge dent %, and needs time. I also opinion that ours will not close, in 2028, as scheduled. I opinion these landfill lands, need accept food waste and up cycle it.


9. “No, we do not Force the Citizens” (3-1-21)

No, we do not Force the Citizens, it will be up for them to decide if they want, and a pilot starts this. Viability then facts.

10. “I have to work more than the typical does outside the box” (3-1-21)

No, we are not a corridor. A 3-acre lot is a small one. There are corridors near us. Town of Canandaigua, Victor, the city of Canandaigua, business, , etc. where people tend to merge, loop around. We are east side of the lake,, always the underdeveloped, poorer side(ROF). Not a target of mass anything but farms. Whitman schools, 4 of them, spaced towns apart, even many Mennonite schools. 6 villages or towns, 12 square miles, no red lights. With lack of development(we code only 25 new homes per year max) or huge issues I have to work more than the typical does outside the box.

11. “For humor” (3-1-21)

For humor, 2001 town comp planner, wrote “Cows do not go to School” Oh i still laugh. But its great value, Kids and services cost a lot more to the town.

12. Documenting 3-23-21)

I have not forgot the things I need to do for us. My small council is batting hard and often, They have put dozens of hours in the last month and kept me hopping around the circles(paths), I gave them my word, my eyes would follow every move and Gorham is the only sight for one month, I’m 3 weeks in. It ends in success of a pilot on food waste being actually started, not discussed. I now have council, town, county, on agree of the path.

Yes, Canandaigua Lake is a jewel. Gorham’s farmlands are pristine. Darn covid whacked my planning last year, just as the turkey was ready to butter. Everything scattered, needs a re- boot.

I might drop my boat in the lake, get some fresh pictures and a few lake trout. Yet i think a picture from a public swimming area here in Gorham or Jones road, where we preserved mass acres instead of developed, also has a view. I could take a picture from my upper deck; I live on the top in a marked scenic by the parcel rankings map. The watershed starts in the middle of my lawn.

Simon, I be right back at ya, my council won’t need me after Friday morn, They will run forward and schedule us extra meeting time though. I bet it’s refreshing for you to hear about an area that still has small issues, yet plans for issues before they are 1. Code is heavy in debate, variances, % of coverage/green, view of. There is much conflict in the city of Canandaigua, not so much in the town of Canandaigua. Gorham has 6 villages of sorts, busses school kids for 12 square miles. K thru 3rd in Gorham, a 4th thru 7th in Middlesex area(we call it the Valley School), a 6th thru 8th on same land as the 9 thru 12 in Rushville. Heck the school has 150 acres where it allows hunting with permit. Best is The ECO class, where those acres get a whole 6th grade class. Then add in many Mennonite schools. They top out after 8th grade.

13 Outside the Box (4-21-21)

The GCB (Gorham Conservation Board) spends much time outside of meetings. A Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) or A Conservation Board are indeed Outside the typical Power Board forms of Government. Our boards all share a common mission. The GCB’s is simply to assist the Town of Gorham in the development of sound Open Space Planning and to assure preservation and protection of the 5 areas ( Agriculture, Natural, Cultural, Recreational and Scenic Resources). Our Power, is to Advise. It includes the Mapped “Open Space”

I am going to use The GCB work on – “GCB Organic Waste Recycling Pilot” in example. We were Tasked this by the Town, to make a dent on the Landfill’s Sustainability. It is scheduled to close in 2028. State and County Implementation Tables were Discussed that had been gathered from other meetings. Food Waste Stuck out in Bold. Its 22% of our hill, the largest Fruit of that Tree. It also has Methane Gas due to decay of such, That smell no one likes and is upwards to 26x stronger in heating the air in compare to the others. Vermiculture stuck out as a known.

What is in a meeting that is based on knowns? Now comes the work, the contacts, the information, the other Boards, the Citizen. The desires and issues of all, much be brought back to inside a meeting in order to reason and advise. Just how do we accomplish this?

This Pilot, goes Outside the Box. Viability, Merge, Loop at Play. Marcus Whitman School has been collecting 3 bins for years. 1) Food Waste 2) Recyclables 3) Trash, The kids do it now. Perhaps Some Students would at Home now also, Re Train a Generation. Town Citizens have desire, a huge Plus Local Business could have use. (it’s not available here, 30-mile user exemption VS Capacity, 2-ton rules, set by DEC) Our Bordering Areas, also do not have this available. If found Viable in ways, we could move it towards County to increase. The cost per user, is mass per user at say 100 users, That cost is very close to the same of 1,000 users. It Requires a Merge and a Loop of.



14. Inside the Box (4-21-21)

Inside the Box of Meeting, June 2018 – We were in need of mass In Reach on this Task. Contact is made after, to please Advise Us!, Simple Requests. At next meeting, Outside help comes to Aug 2018 meeting. From outside our GCB comes 3 to Help us, The Ontario County Dept. of Sustainability and Solid Waste- Marcus Whitman School Facility Mgr. (they had been collecting waste for years)- A Vermiculture owner/operator. Tutoring goes for years, from everywhere we ask. We fact collection is easy, where it gets up-cycled is issue. Trench is discussed and Fails Reasoning to Cost. We visited a Vermiculture Farm to see and ask about. Most valuable was our neighbor- the Township of Canandaigua. They had started collecting solid food waste and allowed us to Talk in Person. Any information the GCB asked was gave with ease. All we did was ask, that simple. Gorham is a much less populace than the town of Canandaigua. Desire and Cost now play out to see if “planning to make a plan”, is Viable.

Survey 2019, We go with an Informal Survey by the Citizens while they are purchasing the Transfer Station permits. They are the actual users- do they want to volunteer to this? This informal is immediate. Time of Outside the Box is Vastly quickened. Reasoning by the GCB, is to gather more and Plan to gather more between meetings. Where to Gather is discussed often. Just which outside the meetings knowns, do we need to know by the next. meeting? A continue chain of gathering from. Costs are gathered by Council Members, via at a store, or thru the net, Labor of the Town, Hauling fees, Vermiculture farm fees, etc. Another Informal Survey is done after 1 year. Meetings fell to Covid, yet the GCB continued by Phone and E-Mail. Virtual meetings re-enforce the value of contact/communicating outside a meeting in order to not waste meeting time. Done by phone and internet. This gather and estimate went on a spreadsheet by council, and gets sent to all Council Members to weigh in on, before we put it on the table.

The Council Planned to get help from Outside The Town Only Box. The GCB started Grant Desire Chat with the County in order to be prepared to do so. We gave us time to gather. The Ontario County Dept. of Sustainability and Solid Waste Mgmt., Has approved and is in aid Funding this. The Township Of Gorham has Appropriated Funding. That’s 2 Boxes, in aid.


15. Bringing the Outside Inside (4-21-21)

How to do this is a manner of collecting in itself. You must In Reach from those Outside The Box. Bring this founded information back to inside a meeting, it does not just magically appear. Power Boards are Set Formations with known Feed supplied. An advisory Board has to be much more. It does not get Fed the same. Do not expect others to have time to do your work, and feed you. We are not small planning boards, Yet We can Plan.


Here is a list of Outside Our Box from task date of June 2018, to the pilot starts with the Citizens on June1, 2021, Things we went to and other things the council does, that gets back to the Table and feeds us well. 

(a) A Fresh copy of our GCB-Open Space Comprehensive Goes hand in hand with County/State Implementation tables and charts, information. Its common 1 or 2 of us attend Town Board meetings. The GCB has a Town Board Member Liaison and The Town Supervisor attends every Meeting. Planning Board Meetings also gets some visit by the GCB. Township of Canandaigua ECB, visited by our Chairman, in request to observe and Monitor a much better CAC_GCB_ECB, and be Tutored of this style board. Ontario County Focus group invite , solid waste sustainability as a stakeholder invite. DEC Annual as a Stakeholder, NYSACC Annual.

(b) Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council, Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association.

(c) Ontario County Dept. of Sustainability and Solid Waste MGMT. Visits and E-mails with Town of Canandaigua as they were collecting.

(d) Marcus Whitman School Facilities Mgr., Marcus Whitman School Supervisor.

(e) 2 Vermiculture Farms.

(f) Highway Superintendent.

(g) How Geneva was doing this.

(h) Most Important- 2 Informal Surveys of Citizens, which if done proper can speed up the information sought.

(i) Newsletters.

(j) Prices of everything from the Bucket to the labor, the congestion, The Odor (say YUK-the biggest issue).

(k) The Local Social media Posts, it will soon go to a Local newspaper.

(l) The Internet is some aid in ways. (m) And so much more I will not list.

We Reason in Pure Agree, With A Small Township as ours, a Small Council will not Survive if we Practice Self Isolation. It only gets better if we merge and form Loops. We must be Aware of what’s outside our Box and bring this information, aid, to our use. Its mass foot work.

16. Quelling a Mutiny (4-21-21)

Anyhow, after council chatted a mini mutiny, due to Town dragging info we needed, I have the food waste UP-CYCLE pilot in hand. In that letter I am forced to include County Logo and that they have granted funds. Every piece of outreach must include that, the only thing county required of us. My goodness that’s a merge, I also congratulated my council That they now work for the county without Pay. Due to council can move faster than town, county, state,,, I told the mutineers , at ease, your 10 moves ahead, that’s all, Goodness I’ll need a nap. I flawed that pilot from day 1, by words. We named it “Organic Waste Recycling Program” It’s an Up-Cycle. “Organic Waste Up-Cycling Program” is more catchy and a fact.

17. CACs and Sustainability Committees (5-28-21)

We have Zero Climate Boards in my county, area. The GCB (Gorham Conservation Board) does work hand in hand with the Ontario County Board of Sustainability of Solid Waste. This is by fact of grant by County to the GCB, for a pilot collecting Waste. We both feel this Pilot is also climate smart. That said, I feel CAC’s and Sustainability Boards combine to cover this.

18. “I sure am leaving the next (GCB) a Boat Load of info.” (5-21-21)

Rural is so different yet much the same. Take example here of those darn gypsy moths. State, County, Town, and my thanks to the Local Watershed Association for combining on this. The trees are not just trees, they support the environment, Keep banks from eroding, so climate smart trees are.

I find a common here, that I find a lot as I travel seeking information for the GCB. It’s a lack of history in a way. I Dream of a data base of work done and in play by other CAC. I waste much time seeking, seeking what others before me did or tried, but is not recorded. The pro and con of pilots attempted, the reasoning a tad. I know how to get information, but coming from other CAC would make it less biased. In my situation, the previous board left no tracks, I sure am leaving the next a Boat Load of info, recorded. It’s just for ease of access. 

Chairman Brett Johnson with his wife and two of his grandkids.

I was born in Canandaigua 10/28/59, Red Jacket high School, BOCES(carpentry), Alfred Ag and Tech/SUNY
(building construction). My Wife Connie and I have 3 children, 7 grandkids from age 3 to 21. I owned a contracting company, previous Plant MGR of ASI Homes. We live on a hill, marked as Scenic by Parcel ranking. Retired now due to 6 Bolts in my spine, I see i have a new Hobby here.

I Had no clue when I offered to Volunteer. I had been reclusive due to a Trauma/Surgery for 7 years. The work with the GCB has much Value, I find this often. I find citizens working together, I find associations, Council with concern eager to pitch in. I am lucky to be building again-something surgeons said I would never do again. But watching all the support the GCB gets, is priceless. In my builder’s language, We have hit the pay , we work on homes not houses. The work with the formation of the GCB could not have been done without help. I thank all in Gorham and I thank Simon, Darby, My Council, Supervisor Fred. Thank you all for helping me build this desire to a form. I have enjoyed being Tutored. I look forward to council advising me of our next. The work I do for Gorham, is Appreciated by Citizens, not thrown out. I find it all worthy-even the OOPS.

About Simon Skolnik

Simon Skolnik is the President of NYSACC and Chair of the Town of Bedford Conservation Board. A trained civil engineer, Mr. Skolnik devoted his career to the management of public and private sector construction projects. He was first appointed to the Bedford Conservation Board in 1985 and became Chair in 1995. He joined the NYSACC Board of Directors in 1989, was elected Vice President in 1995, and elected President in 2019.

Besides their historic role in the protection of open space, Mr. Skolnik views Conservation Advisory Commissions and Boards as among the most vital and important institutions in combating climate change locally and mitigating its effects on the natural and built environments.

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