On July 20, East Hampton resident Alec Baldwin, along with local environmental advocacy organizations, went to Dark Horse Restaurant in Riverhead to rebuke a proposal to build a golf course called The Hills in Southampton.
Baldwin, who was joined by the Southampton Water Protection Alliance, the Group for the East End and the Pine Barrens Society, rallied against the proposal with a televised public service announcement. The issue has been disputed for years; however, plans for The Hills are bound to presume.
The proposal includes an 18-hole golf coursed housed on a resort property. The property will eliminate nearly 600 acres of Pine Barrens land and will make way for 118 residences and a clubhouse. Critics of the project say that the New York State Pine Barrens Commission should have final say in its fabrication.
“This is the biggest and the worst development project ever proposed in the Pine Barrens,” says Pine Barrens Society’s Dick Amper in an interview with News 12.
If The Hills is built, the golf course will be joining established Southampton golf course Shinnecock Hills, which encompasses nearly 260 acres of property. Along with the Southampton Golf Club, Southampton will lose more than 1,000 acres of forestland.
Baldwin, who hosted a rally last week, encouraged people to sign a petition that will get the New York Pine Barrens Commission to review the proposal. Baldwin is no stranger to environmental advocacy. Baldwin, along with wife Hilaria, run the Alec and Hilaria Baldwin Foundation, which raises money for many different causes including health, arts and culture, and the environment. Since its inception in 2006, the foundation has granted money to various environmental organizations including the Wildlife Preservation Coalition of Eastern Long Island, Central Park Conservancy, Peconic Land Trust and Waterkeeper Alliance.