Residents: Wildlife found dead in Babylon waters that have turned black

Town of Babylon Waterways Management Supervisor Brian Zitani says the discoloration of the canal is likely because of a combination of things, including decaying seaweed and eel grass, the warmer weather and boats kicking up sludge.

Thema Ponton

Jul 5, 2023, 7:51 PM

Updated 323 days ago

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Residents say wildlife is turning up dead in the water of a Babylon canal that has mysteriously turned black.
The canal is located on Little East Neck Road South and South Bay Drive.
One woman says she has seen birds swoop in and carry away dead animals.
Town of Babylon Waterways Management Supervisor Brian Zitani says the discoloration of the canal is likely because of a combination of things, including decaying seaweed and eel grass, the warmer weather and boats kicking up sludge.
"This is just an artificial canal, the wind blows this material in," Zitani says. "It builds up for years and basically decomposes to like a black sludge."
He says the canal was nominated for dredging several years ago, but there is no date yet for when that could happen.
Zitani also says it is a water quality issue and is not putting anything into the air that is harmful for residents to breathe.
The official test results from Suffolk County and its Health Department about the water at the canal has not yet been released.
The Coast Guard says the canal is not polluted with gas or oil.
Black and brown tides have also been ruled out.


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