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Jul 1, 2016 12:39 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Toxic Algae Bloom Forces Closure Of Georgica Pond To Crabbing, Swimming

Signs were posted last year at Georgica Pond. LAURA WEIR
Jul 5, 2016 5:04 PM

The East Hampton Town Trustees issued a warning to the public this week to avoid contact with the waters of Georgica Pond and Wainscott Pond after blooms of potentially toxic algae were identified in both water bodies by Stony Brook University scientists.

The warning closes Georgica Pond, a popular crabbing destination, to all fishing and shellfishing, including the harvesting of crabs.

The Trustees advise residents not to swim or wade in any parts of the ponds where there is a film on the water surface or the water is discolored green, yellow or brown and to avoid ingesting pond water. Children and pets, in particular, should be kept away from the pond, as ingesting the water could cause severe health issues or be fatal.

If anyone who has been in or near the ponds’ waters starts to feel nauseated, vomits, suffers diarrhea or skin, eye or throat irritation or breathing difficulties, the Trustees warn that they should seek medical attention and report their symptoms to the Suffolk County Department of Health.

The algae blooms were identified as a blue-green algae species known as cynobacteria, which can be toxic to humans and potentially fatal to small children or pets if the algae is ingested.

The blooms of cynobacteria have appeared in Georgica Pond for at least five consecutive years, and this is the third summer in a row the Trustees have had to issue warnings

In 2012, a dog died after ingesting pond water that was laden with blue-green algae cells, spurring an effort by residents to address chronic water quality problems.

The Stony Brook scientists have advised that the East Hampton Town Trustees open the “cut” between the pond and the ocean more often, to flush the pond with saltwater, which kills the freshwater algae species. But the cut has yet to be opened this year because a pair of piping plovers have nested in the area of beach where the cut would normally be dug.

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But the lawns are greener than ever! Hallelujah!
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Jul 1, 16 12:44 PM
What do people expect when landscapers are spewing poison over every inch of the Hamptons 7 days a week, 12 hours per day for the next 10 weeks.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jul 1, 16 1:25 PM
And Southampton Supervisor is pushing to let a developer plant 4million sq ft of turf in the pine barrens.
By CleanWater (122), East Quogue on Jul 1, 16 2:13 PM
But they've promised that it will be clean, even having a negative impact. Maybe that 4 million sq ft. of turf will save us!

By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Jul 1, 16 2:22 PM
We can make jokes here but the fact is NO ONE is doing anything about it.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Jul 2, 16 8:24 AM
So for the sake of a pair of freaking piping plovers Georgica Pond will remain toxic. Really??!! How crazy is that?
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jul 3, 16 7:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
Piping Plovers. They are a delicacy in other parts of the world. Fencing off beaches etc for a couple of birds is destroying the rest of the beach by people driving around anywhere they can squeeze thru..like the dunes. There are bigger issues than this bird population.
By Woods woman (145), East hampton on Jul 3, 16 10:28 PM