Government Briefs: Blue Green Algae Detected in Fort Pond


Concerned Citizens of Montauk (CCOM) announced that water quality testing of Fort Pond in Montauk last week confirmed the presence of a cyanobacteria bloom, also known as blue-green algae, in a southern portion of the Pond.

According to a press release issued by CCOM late last week, officials from the Town of East Hampton planned to erect signs warning of potential health concerns — particularly for children and pets — at the pond. According to CCOM, the northern end of the Pond shows elevated risk of a bloom, and therefore the entire Pond should be avoided until the bloom has cleared.

Earlier this year CCOM and Dr. Christopher Gobler of Stony Brook University announced a new partnership on an intense HAB monitoring program in Fort Pond, following the cyanobacteria blooms which were detected in Fort Pond during the summers of 2015 and 2017. CCOM has been sampling the Pond weekly since June 2018.  The last four weeks showed elevated risk of a bloom at both the north and south sampling locations.

Harmful algal blooms are typically fueled by increased nutrient loadings from septic systems and stormwater runoff. Mitigating direct discharges of stormwater, avoiding the use of fertilizers, and replacing outdated and ineffective cesspools and septic systems with new innovative alternative systems, which utilize nitrogen treatment technologies, can help remedy the problem. Suffolk County and the Town of East Hampton offer significant financial assistance for septic replacement.

Groft to Present on “Design on Water”

“Design on the Water: The Coastal Landscapes of Oehme van Sweden” with Eric Groft will be the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons’ annual Karish Seminar on Sunday, September 16, with a garden tour in Amagansett, followed by a slide show and reception in Bridgehampton.

Mr. Groft is a principal of Oehme van Sweden and Associates, an internationally recognized landscape architecture firm founded in 1975.  The firm played a role in the development of the “New American Garden” style: a natural landscape featuring grasses, perennials and bulbs in tapestry-like vistas that provide year-round interest.

The landscape architecture firm’s projects include the design of the Federal Reserve Board Gardens in 1977, as well as the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., Gardens of the Great Basin at the Chicago Botanic Garden, the United States Embassy site in Kabul, Afghanistan, and the 3.5-acre native plant garden at the New York Botanical Garden.  Residential garden projects span the United States and include several on the East End. One OvS-designed garden in Amagansett will be toured with Mr. Groft, prior to his lecture on September 16, followed by a lecture with slide show in Bridgehampton, reception and plant sale. The annual Karish Seminar is held in honor of founding HAH member Paul Karish of Amagansett.

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Lemon Hosts Benefit for the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center

CNN Anchor and Sag Harbor resident Don Lemon (pictured at right, with guests) cohosted a family-friendly fundraiser with Suna Said, Scott Maslin, Shawn Sachs and April Gornik on Saturday, September 1, in support of the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center. Sag Harbor Partnership Secretary Hilary Loomis was joined by other members of the community at the event. The nonprofit hopes to open its doors at the new cinema as early as the summer of 2019.

Don Roth photo