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Water Quality the Impetus for Conservation on Georgica Pond

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Conservation News
September 18, 2020

By Yvette DeBow-Salsedo

The stress on our local ponds due to stormwater discharge and other pollutants continues, but we have some good news to report related to Georgica Pond in Wainscott.

Thanks to a generous donation by Katharine Rayner, the Trust has acquired and will begin remediation and restoration of a 1.4 acre  property on the corner of Montauk Highway and Wainscott Stone Road.

“I am privileged to be able to give back to a place that has provided me with so much joy and beauty. Having lived on Georgica Pond for forty years I have witnessed its deterioration, and this project to protect the Pond comes from the heart. As a gardener, I look forward to learning a new vocabulary of native plants and working with Peconic Land Trust to restore a natural habitat on the shore of Georgica Pond,” said Katharine Rayner.

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This property has been the site of notable restaurants for over 50 years. Its restoration will aid in improving the health of the pond and surrounding natural habitat by removing the building, septic system and leaching fields that have contributed to the degradation of the pond’s water quality. There will also be an opportunity to work with the Town of East Hampton and the Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation to address the flow of stormwater discharge into the pond.

“Sometimes it takes years to make a conservation purchase happen. In this case, it was literally weeks,” said John v.H. Halsey, president of the Peconic Land Trust. “Upon learning that the landowner was actively considering offers on the property, the Trust’s staff, especially Kim Quarty, our Senior Project Manager, worked with broker Lori MacGarva to make it happen. Guided by Kathy’s commitment and vision, we are now preparing for the demolition of the structures on the property to set the stage for its restoration, all to improve the health of Georgica Pond! We are deeply grateful to Kathy for making it all possible.”

To learn more about this critical water quality and habitat protection initiative, contact Senior Project Manager Kim Quarty or Director of Stewardship Matt Swain at 631.283.3195.

To read the press release, click here.

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