The Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor was formed in 1986 in response to reports of continued degradation of Hempstead Harbor due to contamination from toxic waste sites, emissions from a local incinerator and other sources, and sewage discharges. CSHH joined with other community members and successfully prevented a new incinerator from being built on the harbor’s western shore and shut down a failing incinerator that was operating on its eastern shore. CSHH commissioned the development of a townwide recycling plan for the Town of North Hempstead, offering a solution to problems of solid-waste management. CSHH became a critical watchdog for the harbor, pressing local government and agency officials to shut down polluting businesses and accelerate the formulation of remediation plans and the cleanup of toxic waste sites around the harbor. Through community organizing and legal challenges, CSHH has, for example, prevented the inappropriate development of a big box supermarket on Roslyn Village’s waterfront and assured that the original Sea Isle development plan was significantly diminished as well as ensured the protection of green spaces at Tappen Beach Park. The following sections highlight CSHH’s activities, accomplishments, and ongoing efforts.

A view of Hempstead Harbor looking north