11/28/13 10:00am
11/28/2013 10:00 AM
JOE PINCIARO PHOTO    | Road work in Wading River just to the west of the Duck Ponds.

JOE PINCIARO PHOTO | Road work in Wading River just to the west of the Duck Ponds.

Brookhaven Town has begun a second phase of work on the Duck Ponds in Wading River, installing catch basins and underground piping to reduce the amount of pollutants carried into the ponds by stormwater runoff.

Town contractors dredged the eastern pond in April 2012, using a $170,000 state grant and $170,000 in town money, said Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner. The town also installed a water quality unit to trap road runoff, and prevent it from entering the ponds, she said.

Phase II, which draws on the same $340,000, includes replacing the culvert under North Country Road, installing catch basins along North Country Road to the west of the ponds, and installing a water quality unit to pick up road runoff west of the ponds, Ms. Bonner said.

“Since a significant amount of trash was found to accumulate in the northwestern corner of the pond, we will also be installing a trash guard unit at the pond outfall to prevent trash from traveling further upstream stream and entering into the remaining Wading River system, which eventually empties into to the Long Island Sound,” Ms. Bonner said.

Riverhead Town also had planned to commit $170,000 to the project for drainage and bulkhead repair work but lost the county grant it had hoped to use for the project, according to Supervisor Sean Walter, who said the town hopes to reapply for that funding.

Officials said that while only about 10 percent of the Duck Ponds site is located in Riverhead Town, rainwater from its roads funnels downhill into the pond — ultimately finding its way into Long Island Sound.

The work being done at the Duck Ponds has important ecological value, said Sid Bail, president of the Wading River Civic Association.

The water from the ponds, which lie at the heart of the hamlet’s historic business district, travels under North Country Road though piping that is being replaced, and ends up in Mill Pond, a large pond behind the former Pizza Pie on Sound Road and other stores nearby, he said. That water, in turn, runs into Sound, so pollutants that end up in the Duck Ponds as a result of stormwater runoff could be contributing to Long Island Sound pollution as well, Mr. Bail said.

“Lately, there’s been a bloom of invasive plants in the western Duck Pond that may be the result of the pipe under the road being clogged,” he said. “These are plants that thrive in stagnant water.”

Mr. Bail said he was told by Brookhaven Town officials that the work, which started last week, would be completed by Dec. 20.

“They’re doing a pretty good job of moving the traffic through this area while the work is ongoing,” Mr. Bail added.

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10/04/12 9:45am
10/04/2012 9:45 AM

The Riverhead Town Board discussed the future of the Wading River Duck Ponds at its Thursday meeting, including the possibility of using $100,000 Brookhaven Town has left over from its side of the duck pond work to tackle Riverhead’s side.

The town line runs through the hamlet’s treasured, yet polluted, duck ponds.

Riverhead Town had expected to use grant money to work on the ponds, but that money has been held up with the county.

News-Review reporter Tim Gannon blogged live from the meeting.

Click below to see what else happened.

October 4, 2012 – Agenda

05/28/11 10:23am
05/28/2011 10:23 AM

JOHN GRIFFIN PHOTO | A duck dances around his pond in Wading RIver during Duck Pond Day Sunday.

Brookhaven Town is one step closer to restoring the Wading River duck ponds now that an access agreement was reached last week between the town and Wading River Congregational Church.

The agreement approved last Tuesday by the Town Board grants access to the ponds, as well as the storing of heavy equipment at the church while restoration work takes place.

Work is expected to start this fall, town officials said.

Sid Bail, first vice president of the Wading River Civic Association, said many residents at last Sunday’s annual Duck Pond Day asked him about the project’s status.

“I’ve had to explain how it’s a work in progress,” Mr. Bail said of the nearly four-year process. “We’re in total support of the project and are glad the town is coordinating it with the church.”

The twin ponds fall in both Brookhaven and Riverhead townships.

Part of the Wading River Creek waterway that flows to the Long Island Sound near the nuclear power plant, the ponds on North Country Road have in the past overflowed and flooded the area during heavy storms.

The two municipalities had planned to start the project together. But Brookhaven, which is responsible for about 90 percent of the ponds is moving forward with its restoration plans while Riverhead re-applies for its own state grant, which had been rejected this year due to an application error.

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said that while he believes the work is needed, the town isn’t currently able to address the drainage problem on its end.
“The town really isn’t in a financial situation to do this right now,” he said. Mr. Walter estimated costs for drainage and the installation of bulkheads range from $400,000 to $500,000.

While only 10 percent of the twin ponds are located within the Riverhead border, that town is responsible for the majority of drainage remediation because that’s where the stormwater runoff problem begins.

In order to alleviate the flooding problem, Brookhaven Town plans to dredge the pond and complete other restoration work. The state has approved a grant to pay for half of the $340,000 project.

Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner said she’s pleased the town is moving forward on its end.

“The pond is very important to the people of Wading River — it’s their identity,” she said.

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