Concerned Citizens of Montauk (CCOM) is hoping to combat harmful algal blooms and reduce nutrients in Montauk's Fort Pond by adding floating wetlands.
Concerned Citizens of Montauk, along with nearly 40 volunteers, installed approximately 3,000 square feet of floating wetlands in Fort Pond on Saturday, May 15.
"I am so thankful to those who made this installation possible. After a year of isolation, it felt great to get out there as a community and do some good!" expressed CCOM President Laura Tooman.
The floating wetlands, which are seasonal and reusable, feature custom mats that boast more than 7,000 carefully chosen native plants, which were planted and secured by family-owned, Florida-based company Beemats Floating Wetlands. The project's goal is to lower the nutrient load in the pond, which in turn would decrease the impact of the harmful algal blooms that have troubled Fort Pond for years. The plants' roots will absorb nitrogen and phosphorus from the pond as food.
Nearly 40 volunteers turned out to help install the floating wetlands. (Photo: John Chimples)
Once the growing season concludes and plants reach full maturity, CCOM will remove the mats and the plant material will be donated to local community gardens to utilize for composting.
"We are excited to monitor the growth over the next few months and continue our work to reduce nutrient loading into the Pond," noted Tooman.
In addition to the Fort Pond Floating Wetlands project, CCOM, whose mission is to "preserve and protect the unique environment and ecology of Montauk through education, advocacy, and grassroots citizen action," is working on many other efforts to reduce pollutant loadings in Fort Pond, as well as in surrounding Montauk waterbodies. The Fort Pond Floating Wetlands project was made possible by a grant from the East Hampton Town Community Preservation Fund Water Quality Improvement Program.
For more information, visit www.preservemontauk.org.