The concept of “noise pollution” is a fairly recent one. On Eastern Long Island, known as “the Hamptons”, New York’s premier beach resort where the Atlantic Ocean meets beautiful, pristine white sand beaches, noise pollution used to mean the odd early morning tractor from the nearby farms, or perhaps the occasional late night party.
Recently, noise pollution has taken on another, much more disturbing meaning. Residents who frequently battle the traffic and drive several hours to reach their summer homes are now accosted by the noisy commuter leased helicopters transporting the ultra-rich to and from Manhattan. The helicopter traffic has increased by 40% over last year which has caused increased tension between what the NY Times refers to as “the very affluent and the exceptionally rich”. Broadly interpreted this means between the 1% and the .01% who are constantly in competition with each other for status.
A Shelter Island resident quoted in the Times may have most aptly described the situation: “Quality of life truly is being diminished for the commercial greed and the convenience of the same people who burned the economy.”