Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Week of January 20, 2008

Brookhaven Town (New York) Invests $$ In Aquatic Habitats

By: Barbara LaMonica, Suffolk Life

The Brookhaven Town Board (Suffolk County, New York) recently authorized a resolution appropriating approximately $1.24 million for aquatic habitat restoration in the town. John Turner, director of Brookhaven Town's Department of Environmental Protection, said funding for the project will come from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. "This will address a number of things relative to maintaining and restoring the Carmans and Swan rivers, where, for each, there will be aquatic species inventory and control work that will be done," Turner explained.

"We will be doing aquatic species inventory work, but there has been no decision on just how we will eradicate the aquatic invasive [plants]," Turner said. Full Article


Coalition Fights To Save Yaphank Lakes (Suffolk County, New York)

By:Barbara LaMonica, Suffolk Life

The Carolina fanwort, otherwise known as the cabomba weed, and variable leaf watermilfoil, also known as Myriophyllum heterophyllum, are the culprits. Solutions to putting a lid on these aquatic invasive species include the use of Sonar herbicide, or removing the four centuries-old dams that were placed in the Carmans River which, over time, have formed the upper and lower lakes in Yaphank. The dams are located along the upper sections of the river at Upper Mill Pond, Lower Mill Pond, Southaven Park and Sunrise Highway. Removing the dams would allow the Carmans River to flow faster. Representatives of the Coalition to Save the Yaphank Lakes are concerned, however, that removing the dams would make the lakes they have come to know and enjoy all but disappear. Freshwater and tidal portions of the Carmans River support more than 40 species of fish, including brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, yellow perch, white perch, American eel and carp. Robert Kessler, co-founder of the coalition, along with his wife, Audrey, says the mission of the group is to "restore, protect, preserve, and clean up the lakes" by working with intergovernmental representatives and other entities in order to accomplish this goal without removing the dams. John Turner, Brookhaven Town's director of environmental protection, confirmed that removing the dams would result in the upper and lower lakes receding, which would, over time, reveal the appearance of marshlands. Turner, who has not yet rendered his recommendations on the most effective way to eradicate the invasive species, said that there are options that will be taken into account before a decision is made."There are clear benefits to removing the dams, because you would eliminate the invasive species problem, and you re-establish free-flowing cold water, and you would restore the river's natural course from centuries ago," Turner explained. "On the negative side, this is not just a scientific issue, but a cultural issue as well, because it affects property values, and residents have a scenically beautiful view of the river, and if the impoundments that have been there for many, many decades are removed, the lakes would recede." Full Article

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