On the commercial dock at the inlet to Lake Montauk.
On the commercial dock at the inlet to Lake Montauk.

Concerned Citizens of Montauk has kicked off a new community-wide campaign to improve water quality in Lake Montauk and Fort Pond, both of which have been listed as impaired by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

For three years, CCOM’s team of trained volunteers and partners have worked year-round to collect and analyze water samples, which show the depth of the water quality issues facing both water bodies.

Portions of both the lake and the pond have been closed to swimming, recreation, and shellfishing because of harmful algal blooms and pathogen contamination.

As part of the new campaign, CCOM plans to train volunteer Ambassadors to work with local stakeholders who have signed on as Stewards, committing to take actions to reduce human impacts on Lake Montauk and Fort Pond. There are about 1,800 Montauk residents living in the watersheds of both water bodies whose actions can have an impact on their ecosystems.

These actions 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 stormwater.

You can sign up to be a Steward or an Ambassador online here.

CCOM is also looking to engage commercial and municipal partners to help impact the health of the bay and the pond. More information on the efforts is online here.

“Water is the lifeblood of Montauk – our environment, our economy, and our health and wellbeing,” says CCOM President Jeremy Samuelson. “The heart of our community is threatened by deteriorating water quality. CCOM is leading a comprehensive effort to reverse the damage.”

“Save the Lake-Save Pond will engage homeowners, local businesses, commercial property owners, and East Hampton Town officials in a coordinated effort to reduce the human causes of Montauk’s water pollution,” he added.

“Montaukers know how to pull together,” added Ed Braun,Chairman of CCOM’s Board of Directors. “We are a truly unique and special community. I am grateful for all of the volunteers and supporters who are committed to working with CCOM to preserve the place we all love.”


Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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