East End environmentalists fighting PSEG Long Island’s plan to run underground wires through a Sag Harbor nature preserve recently had their opposition amplified by Oscar-winning actor and Hamptons regular Leonardo DiCaprio.
The utility company wants to build the 5.2-mile cable parallel to existing overhead power cables in a right of way that cuts through the Long Pond Greenbelt, a collection of coastal plain ponds and wetlands that are home to endangered species such as the tiger salamander.
Critics say the project has the potential to significantly disturb natural habitats and negatively impact protected species in the greenbelt, which is designated a “critical environmental area” — and the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star agreed.
This community is dedicated to the preservation of the area and needs our help. Please consider signing @longpondgreenbelt’s petition to help protect this unique nature preserve https://t.co/lUgQS8h2wP @G4EE
— Leonardo DiCaprio (@LeoDiCaprio) July 11, 2022
“Climate change and nature destruction affects us all,” DiCaprio posted on his social media accounts, including Instagram and Twitter, last month with a link to the Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt’s petition on change.org urging the utility to use an alternative that doesn’t impact the preserve. “Sharing this story kicks off a series of highlighting events and issues at the local level, in hopes that it inspires action to #savetheplanet in our own neighborhoods.”
DiCaprio’s post quoted New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor), who also opposes the plan.
“It is an area that lends itself not only to the appreciation of nature but recreation. It is one of a kind, and it can’t be replaced.” said Thiele. “Literally tens of millions of dollars have been spent in public money to protect the resource that is the Long Pond Greenbelt.”
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