LIMPIA has two specific meanings that coincidentally embrace one important concept. In Spanish, the word means ‘clean’. To the residents of the upper Northeast region of the United States, the word stands for Long Island Marine Purification Initiative Alliance. The task is large and laboring but the goal can be achieved with the proper formula for success. Work to create a sense of awareness and inspire lasting change, focusing on the issue of water quality on the east end of Montauk and the surrounding areas of the Hamptons.
Although as you gaze out at an expanse of ocean that doesn’t seem to stop, the looks can be very deceiving. Taking a toll on these waters is a large year-round population of both tourists and residents, constant environmental pollutants and sewer problems stemming from an outdated infrastructure. Not only are the lives of all the marine life endangered in that area, but the different species of birds that serve as predators to some of the fish, are also affected. Luke Weil understands the issues and has great concerns. The non-profit organization, LIMPIA, came about in a very unexpected way. Luke has loved to surf off the waters of Montauk for a long time, unaware that the ocean was anything but pristine, as he saw it. However, being an environmental supporter and ocean advocate, one afternoon he went to the office of a local environmental organization in Montauk to have a discussion about the efforts to maintain clean and pollutant-free water in the area. Instead, Weil was informed how badly contaminated the waters were. After a heavy rain and a desire to see for himself, Weil took to his board and went out to surf, only to realize the problem for himself. A small cut on his foot became worse in the next few days when salt water should have put it on the path to healing. It was this incident and talking to the environmental office personnel that changed his outlook and he vowed to try and reverse the damage as much as he could.
With the assistance of Concerned Citizens of Montauk and Surfrider Foundation, Luke Weil initiated and underwrote a water-testing regime, initially conducted at Ditch Plains at 4 – 5 sites, and in the southern part of Lake Montauk, which runs parallel to Ditch Plains. The testing effort has since been expanded considerably to elsewhere on the Atlantic side as well as Fort Pond. Now that the testing is well underway and progress is slowly taking place, a kickoff event was held on July 18, 2015 at Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, successfully raising funds to continue these efforts, and hopefully, drawing attention and curiosity which will yield volunteers to help spread the word. These much-needed funds will allow LIMPIA to eventually find a solution to an ever-growing problem.
Resources will be allocated with this specific purpose at hand:
- Continue testing to determine unambiguously the degree as well as the sources of the contamination
- Fund the research and science that will address the likely causes of water contamination and yield a viable plan to solve the problem
- Fund public and government relations work to raise necessary—and extremely lacking—awareness on the issue
- Bring together the necessary stakeholders, including local government, to reach agreement on a real and feasible solution to water contamination
For more information and to follow the efforts of Luke Weil and his non-profit organization, go to www.limpia.org.