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Concerned Citizens of Montauk’s President Steps Down

Thu, 05/04/2023 - 09:58
Laura Tooman at a 2022 Concerned Citizens of Montauk event at Gurney's Resort

Concerned Citizens of Montauk has announced that Laura Tooman, the group’s president for the last six years, has stepped down from that position.

The group also announced that Kay Tyler, formerly the executive director of the Montauk Chamber of Commerce, has been named C.C.O.M.’s fund-raising development consultant.

“C.C.O.M. thanks Laura for her service and wishes her the best,” David Freudenthal, chairman of the group’s board, said in a statement issued on Sunday.

Ms. Tooman formerly worked in the office of Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele

Jr. She told The Star on Tuesday that she will continue as a consultant to C.C.O.M. during the transition. “There are some important projects we are working on together,” she said in an email.

In the statement on Sunday, she wrote of C.C.O.M.’s accomplishments and progress “in protecting and restoring the Montauk we all love” in the six years she has served as president. “But the time has come for me to move on and pass the torch to another.” C.C.O.M. “is continuing its great work in tackling the water quality, wastewater, and coastal resiliency issues in Montauk.”

The group recently retained Christopher Gobler of Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences to assess the hamlet’s wastewater issues, a move that followed the Suffolk County Parks Commission’s vote to reject a land swap with East Hampton Town that foiled a town board proposal to build a sewage treatment plant in Hither Woods. Dr. Gobler has also been monitoring Montauk’s Fort Pond for harmful algal blooms for the past six years.

The Long Island Community Foundation has awarded C.C.O.M. a $25,000 grant to install floating wetlands in Fort

Pond, for the third consecutive year, to reduce the nutrient concentrations that have encouraged the algal blooms for several summers. The vegetated mats take up nutrients in the water column while providing habitat for fish, birds, and other animals.

C.C.O.M. has put out a call for volunteers to help plant and install more than 3,000 square feet of floating mats filled with 7,200 native plants at two locations in Fort Pond on May 20, starting at 9 a.m. Volunteers will meet at the boat ramp at 41 South Erie Street. Those interested have been asked to send an email to [email protected].

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