In an interesting development, the Village of East Hampton’s code enforcement officer and fire inspector has suggested taking a hard look at basements. The issue Ken Collum identified and asked the village board to consider regulating is that a growing number of property owners are including vast underground warrens in building or reconstructing houses. They can do so because the village code does not require basement square-footage to be calculated in the size of a house.
The world may be undergoing a sixth great wave of extinctions, as recently examined in a book by Elizabeth Kolbert, and this phenomenon may well extend to the seas, including those off our own shores. Symptoms include coral reef degradation, finfish population crashes, toxic algae blooms, and the slow loss of once-familiar and economically vital species. New York State has responded by drafting a 10-year Ocean Action Plan, but the document, while extensive, offers no source for the money needed to address its ambitious goals.