Students meet with Governor to discuss climate change

Courtesy photo

Students meet with Governor to discuss climate change


SAYVILLE – Two members of the Suffolk Student Climate Action Committee’s (SSCAC), the Sayville High School chapter, met with Governor Andrew Cuomo last month to discuss climate change.

Junior Harrison Bench and sophomore Lilia Bartolotta, along with their mentor, Melissa Parrott, were invited to attend the Governor’s event on enhancing Long Island’s marine habitats. The students traveled with the Governor, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and other dignitaries aboard a fishing boat to witness the creation of the first of 12 artificial reefs being developed from parts of the old Tappan Zee Bridge, two miles off the shore of Long Island.

The SSCAC is a committee comprised of high school students from across Suffolk County demanding climate change action from elected officials.

During the event, the students had the opportunity to speak with Governor Cuomo about the actions needed to reduce the effects of climate change, and the work SSCAC is doing to tackle these urgent issues. The Governor was apparently so impressed with the Sayville students that he mentioned them in his event speech, noting that, “it is important to see students like these engaged in making change happen”.

Both Governor Cuomo and County Executive Bellone agreed to meet with the students one-on-one to discuss further ideas.

The SSCAC recommends to all elected officials they meet with to follow Governor Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard, which mandates 50 percent of New York’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2030.

The Sayville students are currently working with the Town of Islip to follow East Hampton and Southampton’s lead regarding the transition to renewable energy.