Fort Pond Water Still a Threat

Based on its latest rounds of water testing last week, Concerned Citizens of Montauk again urged people to avoid contact with the water in Fort Pond, where a blue-green algae bloom persisted.

The organization is monitoring Fort Pond for harmful blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, blooms in partnership with the Gobler Lab at Stony Brook Southampton. Separately C.C.O.M. is partnering with the Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force to test water bodies in Montauk, Amagansett, and East Hampton for the enterococcus bacteria. Elevated levels of these bacteria — often due to heavy rains, warm water temperatures, or extreme high tides — are also considered a risk to human health.

Especially high tides last week “resulted in high bacteria levels at some locations,” C.C.O.M.’s Kate Rossi-Snook noted in an email last Thursday.

In Fort Pond, the organization samples for cyanobacteria at two locations — one by a town boat ramp on the southern part of the pond and another off Industrial Road at the northern end. “The boat ramp site is elevated above the [New York State Department of Environmental Conservation] threshold, and the Industrial Road site is hovering just below,” wrote Ms. Rossi-Snook. Testing was to be conducted again yesterday and weekly until the bloom clears, she said.

The most recent round of enterococcus testing last week showed medium to high bacteria levels at 14 of the 25 sites tested.

Medium levels were found at three locations in Lake Montauk and high levels at one location. High entero levels were also detected east of the jetty at Ditch Plain Beach, at Pussy’s Pond in Springs, at David’s Lane and Dunemere Road sites on Hook Pond in East Hampton, and in Georgica Pond on the beach side and by the Route 27 kayak launch area.

Medium bacteria levels were detected in Montauk at Tuthill Pond, at Fresh Pond Creek in Amagansett, at the head of Three Mile Harbor in East Hampton, and at the Cove Hollow Road access to Georgica Pond.

Another round of sampling for enterococcus will take place next week.