Sag Harbor creek's contamination causing beach erosion

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Posted October 10, 2019

Little North West Creek in Sag Harbor represents many of the issues that currently face Long Island estuaries and waterways.

The creek is contaminated with bacteria, which is affecting waterways and causing erosion at nearby beaches.

The creek used to head straight north over the dunes, however, it now is heading west and causing erosion issues for the residents in the area.

Nitrogen pollution and shifting sands caused by storm surges have left the homes that face Sag Harbor with an eroding beachfront. Swimming and clamming are also off-limits because of high levels of bacteria in the water.

Easthampton officials say environmental dredging is the answer and hope it will help get the creek back on track. However, trustee Rick Drew says dredging is just part of the solution.

"Until we can update septic systems to nitrogen reducing systems and until more people reduce fertilizing – we are going to need to do an environmental dredging to help flush these interior waters and improve water exchange," says Drew.

East Hampton trustees hope to develop a management plan that would allow regular maintenance dredging to keep the creek's water flowing.