Donor Spotlight | Mark McIntyre’s “Cause Worth Supporting”

June 26, 2023
Water Quality

Earlier this month, we spoke to Mark McIntyre to learn why he supports the Peconic Land Trust and our efforts to improve water quality in Sagg Pond and across the East End. Thank you, Mark for sharing your perspective with us! To learn how you can support the Sagg Pond Restoration Project, contact Amanda Abraham, Director of Development.

“What’s special about the East End for me is the opportunity to get out on the ocean and our bays – the Peconic and Shinnecock for example – and coastal ponds, some of the most beautiful water bodies in this part of the country.

Sagg Pond is a delicate stretch of fresh water, separated from the Atlantic only by a narrow stretch of Sagg Main Beach. There are no bulkheads marring the landscape, and the land that comes down to the pond is lightly settled as it has been for the past 100 years and more.

“Yet the Pond is not healthy — toxic blue-green algae appear almost every year after hot summertime weather. For the past six years, I’ve watched the Trust support research into the root cause of these water quality issues – excess nitrogen from legacy farming, landscaping, and old septic systems that constantly flow into the pond.

“This research is now turning to action: the Trust is raising funds to filter groundwater at locations where the highest concentrations of nitrogen enter the pond using permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) to see if the nitrogen can be substantially reduced. If this works, Sagg Pond can once again be restored to a healthy water body. The Trust and its partners would then have created a model that can be applied to other more stressed coastal ponds – Georgica Pond, Agawam Lake – and others on the East End and beyond. Together, we may be on the verge of a great success, and for me, that is worthy of support.”

To learn more about the Trust and its partners’ work at Sagg Pond, please visit our Sagg Pond Watershed webpage.

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