Newsletter, June 2016

Gardening Guidelines for Pond Neighbors
At FOGP, we’re all avid gardeners and there is no better month to experience the joys of your garden than June. But anyone who lives in the watershed of Georgica Pond needs to be mindful that overuse of fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and irrigation is harmful to the pond.
According to Dr. Gobler’s models between 1-22% of the nitrogen entering the pond is coming from landscaping and farming. The good news is that having a beautiful garden and maintaining the water quality of the pond are not incompatible. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Use an organic fertilizer or a slow release fertilizer. Remember that there is still lots of nitrogen and phosphorus in these products, so use them judiciously and as directed.
  • Maintain an adequate buffer zone between the actively managed part of your garden and the pond. Buffer zones are recommended to be at least 20 feet wide and are areas where no fertilizer or pesticides should be applied. A functioning buffer zone can greatly help intercept excess nutrients before they reach the pond.
  • Give the landscape a break and obey the law (Suffolk County local law 41-2007) by not fertilizing between November 1 and April 1 when the plants in your garden are mostly dormant.
  • Avoid excessive irrigation. The Suffolk County Water Authority has issued a voluntary water conservation request for lawn irrigation. Odd numbered houses water only on odd days, even numbered houses water only on even numbered days. Over watering leads to mosquito outbreaks and more surface water flow into the pond. Be sure your irrigation system has a rain sensor or weather-based SMART irrigation controller. For more information on irrigation visit

Detailed information on sustainable, pond-friendly gardening can be found at the following websites:

Meet Ryan & Trevor!
We’re pleased to announce that the aquatic weed harvester is up and running and ready for battle.Macroalgae is the enemy, and we are starting to harvest.The cool spring and high pond level have slowed the growth of the filamentous macroalgae this year. In addition, growth of Prorocentrum minimum, sometimes called Mahogany Tide, which is not harmful to humans or pets is shading the pond bottom and potentially slowing the growth of the macroalgae.Ryan Ruggiero and Trevor Adams both college sophomores majoring in engineering have been hired by Solitude Lake Management to operate the aquatic weed harvester and no doubt you’ll see them on the SS Georgica if you haven’t already.The boat will only operate on weekdays.Please give them a wave when they pass by.

Huge Carwash Proposed for Wainscott
FOGP has been participating in East Hampton Town’s Wainscott Hamlet Study and has learned of a proposal before the East Hampton Town Planning Board for a large scale carwash.A carwash uses significant amounts of chemicals including pre-soaking agents, cleaners, de-greasers, sealers and drying agents. In addition to these chemicals, excessive amounts of phosphorus may be used.These contaminants have the potential to reach groundwater and enter Georgica Pond. Naturally, water quality and quantity are just some of the objections, and Town officials are looking carefully at traffic (this section of Rt. 27 is the most congested road in the entire town), noise and architecture.We encourage you to voice your concern about the proposed car wash by writing to the East Hampton Town Planning Board.Your letter (not email) should be addressed to:

Mr. Reed Jones, Chairman
East Hampton Town Planning Board
300 Pantigo Place, Suite 103
East Hampton, NY11937

FOGP will keep you updated on developments including the next presentation before the planning board.