Water Quality Update | Sagg Pond Watershed: December 2022

December 21, 2022
Conservation News
Water Quality

After three years of research that you helped fund, we’re moving into a remediation phase with Sagg Pond. The Trust and partners including Cornell Cooperative Extension, SUNY Stony Brook, Southampton Town, Town Trustees, and inspired residents are working together to remove harmful nutrients from the groundwater entering the pond.

Why Sagg Pond?

  • There is a serious pollution problem. Sagg Pond has 2 to 16 times the nitrogen concentration acceptable for coastal ponds resulting in the presence of blue-green algae during the summer months. This poses a risk to wildlife, domestic pets, and humans.
  • The size and shape of Sagg Pond is unique. The long shorelines and shallow water when the pond is open to the ocean draws groundwater into the pond at high rates.
  • Sandy soils beneath homes, lawns, and fields within the Sagg Pond watershed are susceptible to leaching excessive amounts of nutrients like nitrogen into the groundwater.
  • Land use surrounding the pond is primarily residential and agricultural. With landowner action and cooperation, we can restore the pond.

The Good News

It’s not too late by any means. There’s hope that the changes made now within the Sagg Pond watershed will help to restore water quality for the future!

Ways you can help improve and restore Sagg Pond

  • Meet with Bruce. Email Bruce Horwith, the Trust’s Natural Resource Consultant, for free, confidential, at-home consultations on best management practices within the watershed.
  • Do your part. Upgrade your septic system, practice sustainable lawn care, install
    vegetative buffers along the shoreline.
  • Provide access. Provide access to Cornell Cooperative Extension in key shoreline areas for test wells and permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) to capture nitrogen before it enters the pond.
  • Support restoration efforts. Contribute private funds to secure public funding matches from Southampton Town’s Community Preservation Fund. To date, the Town has matched 100% of the private funds we’ve raised for specific projects doubling the impact of your gifts.
  • Stay informed. Watch our online presentations on research and remediation efforts and progress. Past recordings can be found on our Sagg Pond webpage.

“The size of the pond and the opportunity to have an impact is very encouraging. What has brought us this far is tremendous support from the community and from the Town.”

John v.H. Halsey

Have questions, or would like to make a gift in support of the pond’s restoration? Contact Amanda Abraham, Director of Development.

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