Farming the Seaside
My name is Elizabeth Peeples and I am running for Southold Town Trustee.
From the farm and the seaside to “Farming the Seaside,” my life story has swept me up the East Coast. My mom grew up on a farm in rural South Carolina with the rolling Smoky Mountains in the distance. Two hundred miles East, my dad grew up on the tidal waters and marshes of the Lowcountry in Charleston. Growing up visiting family in these diverse and immersive environments was integral in my upbringing.
Fast forward to my adulthood, after years of the fast-paced city life and with plans to start a family of my own, the need for centering led me in search of something familiar. Similar to an oyster, the clean, crisp, brininess beckoned to me from the East End. To trade my city garb and tall buildings for Grundens and a 10-acre oyster farm in Gardiners Bay was a once in a lifetime opportunity - and I jumped in feet first!
Planting roots here on the North Fork has deeply enriched and developed my life experiences as an oyster farmer, wife, mother to our 20-month-old son, LGBTQ activist, entrepreneur and environmental advocate. I look forward to watching our son grow up with an awareness of self and others that his two moms will teach him as well as the intangible life lessons he will learn from growing up on the water. I am committed to ensuring that the waters surrounding the North Fork and the East End continue to improve for not only our son’s future but that of future generations.
Oysters are one of the original inhabitants of this unique place that we all call home. There was a time in the not too distant past that the existence of these bivalves was in a perilous place. I cannot help but draw the parallel between the fate of the oyster only decades ago and our local waterways at this juncture. It is critical.
The foresight of New York State and Suffolk County to develop an aquaculture program more than 10 years ago that allows farmers to grow shellfish was a crucial part in the revitalization of our estuary. Each oyster filters 50 gallons of water each day sequestering carbon and nitrogen but they cannot solve our environmental issues alone.
Armed with an education, real world expertise and inspired by the hard work of the oysters that I surround myself with every day, I am charged to run as a candidate for Southold Town Trustee. Shellfish farming provides a local and regenerative food source and has a direct positive impact on improving the water quality. It is from this experience that I am qualified to do the hard work of a Southold Trustee and understand the importance of creating balance within the constructed world to preserve and protect our waterways.
As with the oysters, working for a more sustainable future is not a solo endeavor. Standing beside me on this campaign trail is the most diverse, qualified, accomplished and inclusive group of individuals representing our 2021 Democratic Slate. Supporting our Slate are the dedicated, passionate and tireless committee, family and community members who are energized to spread word of the action and leadership we will bring to Southold Town as elected individuals.
In the coming weeks leading up to the election on November 2nd, I ask for your support and vote. I also request that you share with me what is important to you and your family within this Town as well as your concerns. It takes us all coming together to responsibly strengthen this community and Lead Southold Forward into the future!