“Let me take you out in my boat and SHOW you the Sound.”
It’s the first introduction to the Long Island Sound community that most of us were given. Always an advocate for experiencing the Sound firsthand, Art Glowka wanted people to see the diversity of wildlife off of our coast with their own eyes. Art, an avid fisherman, worked for over 50 years to preserve and protect Long Island Sound for fishing, shellfishing, and recreation. Sadly, last week we lost this amazing longtime advocate and Save the Sound friend.
A former Eastern Airlines pilot, Glowka was a founding member of the Long Island Sound Taskforce (now Save the Sound) and the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, and he was chairman of the Stamford Shellfish Commission. He appeared regularly before the Stamford Water Pollution Control Authority, South Western Regional Planning Agency, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that water regulations were upheld.
Working with the other members of the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, Glowka helped achieve major victories for the fishermen and shellfishermen in the region, including:
- Brought attention to the fish kills at Indian Point power plant;
- Prevented the construction of a Consolidated Edison hydroelectric facility on Storm King Mountain;
- Designed the Bag-A-Polluter postcard allowing residents to report polluter sightings by filling out a postcard and mailing it to HRFA;
- Successfully sued Penn Central for discharging oil into the Croton River, collecting a $2,000 penalty from the company;
- Sued the Anaconda Wire and Copper Company in Hastings-on-Hudson for dumping oil and solvents into Hudson River, resulting in a $20,000 penalty from the company;
- Intervened in a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation proceeding against General Electric for illegally releasing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into the Hudson River from its Fort Edward and Hudson Falls plants, resulting in the creation of a $7 million cleanup fund and the discontinuance of PCB use by 1977;
- Joined a suit against Westway, a proposed project to construct a highway on pilings in the Hudson River, that would have killed 64 percent of the striped bass habitat in the process; and
- Brought suit against Exxon for discharging polluted saltwater ballast from its tankers into the Hudson River, receiving a $500,000 settlement from the company, half of which was used to fund the Hudson Riverkeeper program.
Art was an ever-present environmental watchdog who traveled from meeting to meeting to ensure governmental agencies heard the voice of the fishermen. His constant persistence and contribution to the Sound will be sorely missed.
We will be dedicating the 22nd annual Long Island Sound Citizen Summit to Art’s memory; his passion and citizen activism are examples to us all. We hope that you will join us at it on April 26.
So for those of you who knew him, and even those who didn’t, we ask one simple thing: next time you find yourself on the Sound, take a second to thank Art for his tireless efforts to protect our little piece of the planet.
On Sunday May 5, Art’s family and friends will gather on their boats near Westcott Cove in Stamford to memorialize him. A reception will follow at the Halloween Yacht Club. If you plan to attend or for more information, please contact Bernie Weiss at 203-329-2503 or CaptainBernieWeiss@Gmail.com.
Posted by Leah Schmalz, director of legislative and legal affairs for Save the Sound