Scientists raise concerns about trend of poor water quality on South Shore, Long Island Sound
Scientists and environmental activists are raising the alarm about an increasing trend of poor water quality on the South Shore and in the Long Island Sound.
Those who came out to Patchogue to check out the water say nitrogen runoff is primarily to blame for toxic algae blooms and rust tides that have made the South Shore and Long Island Sound inhospitable for thin fish and shellfish to thrive.
Strong weather events like tropical storms have become more prevalent and increase nitrogen runoff.
Christopher Gobler, a professor with Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, says scientists are predicting storms will become more frequent, which is going to impact more than just fish in the area.
“What that means is the amount of nitrogen going from land to sea is going to increase and continue to threaten our water bodies, our marine life and even frankly, human health,” Gobler says.
Centereach resident Marguerite Mencke says she can see the water issues every time she goes fishing.
“This is our future, this is what our kids are eating, this is what we are eating,” Mencke says. “We want it as clean as possible.”
Scientists say fixing outdated septic systems and getting more homes on sewer systems is one solution to reducing nitrogen in the water.
They have praised Suffolk County’s efforts in starting that process but say there is still a lot more to be done.
Some in the area, however, are worried what the cost will be.
“It will definitely help the environment,” says John Williams of North Babylon. “But for everything there is a cost so how much is it gonna cost me?”
Suffolk will be receiving $230 million in federal funds to help fund sewer projects along the Carlls and Forge River areas.