Fort Pond was deemed unsafe for swimming for the majority of last summer. (Photo: Rob Rich/SocietyAllure.com)
The Long Island Community Foundation (LICF) has awarded Concerned Citizens of Montauk (CCOM) $20,000 in support of "Save the Lake - Save the Pond" - a community-wide campaign to improve water quality in Lake Montauk and Fort Pond. CCOM is one of 24 local organizations that received funding from LICF.
"We are tremendously grateful to LICF for their leadership, generosity, and recognition of the importance of CCOM's effort to improve Montauk's water quality," shared CCOM President, Jeremy Samuelson. "Water is the lifeblood of Montauk - our environment, our economy, our health and our well-being depends upon clean water."
Severe water quality issues have plagued both Lake Montauk and Fort Pond. The detrimental algal blooms and pathogen contamination in local waters has led to the closure of previously incredibly prosperous shellfish beds and the public beach at South Lake, and Fort Pond was also deemed unsafe for swimming for the majority of last summer.
"Save the Lake - Save Pond" is a step-by-step program that brings together homeowners, local businesses, commercial property owners, and East Hampton Town officials to address and diminish the human causes of Montauk's water pollution problem. The initiative is led by CCOM's team of highly trained volunteer "Ambassadors" and has already secured 50 property owners as "Stewards" who will take the necessary actions to decrease human impacts on Lake Montauk and Fort Pond. Campaign efforts include inspecting, pumping, and upgrading septic systems, stopping the use of fertilizers and using organic pest control and planting vegetative buffers and taking other measures to contain storm water.
"CCOM's 'Save the Lake - Save the Pond' program can make a big difference if we all commit to working together to implement its action plan," added Samuelson. "We hope everyone in Montauk will join our effort."
By the end of 2018, CCOM hopes to have recruited one third of residents who reside around the lake and pond to participate in the "Save the Lake - Save the Pond" program.
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