The Group for the East End moved out of its Bridgehampton office on Dec. 31, 2012, and will now operate exclusively from its Southold location — though the president says the environmental advocacy nonprofit will remain as focused as ever on serving both the South Fork and the North Fork.
“We’re consolidating just for economic purposes," President Bob DeLuca explained Thursday. "Our coverage is still the same.”
Donations received by the Group for the East End have been inconsistent since the country's financial troubles hit, DeLuca said. “Since 2008, fundraising has been all over the place."
Between rent, computers, Internet, telephone service and other overhead, keeping the Bridgehampton office open was costing $15,000 to $18,000 per year, according to DeLuca. But now, he said, that money will be invested into the Group's programs.
The Group's biggest program in 2013 will be a clean water initiative. "We're trying to put together a regional water quality campaign for all of Long Island to get groundwater and surface water cleaned up," DeLuca said. The Peconic Baykeeper, Pine Barrens Society and Nature Conservancy are involved in the regional coalition.
There were no layoffs as a result of the office closure. “Everybody who was in that office is going to be here,” DeLuca said from the Southold office.
The Group's budget is about $1.7 million annually, and there are usually 10 full-time staff members, plus a number of part-time, seasonal and internship positions throughout the year, he said.
The Group for the East End occupied that Bridgehampton office since 2007 or 2008, DeLuca said, and it had other Bridgehampton locations since its founding in 1972 under its original name, Group for America's South Fork. In 2008, the Group bought an office in Southold, expanded its focus and changed its name.