Blue Point Creek Defender: A Day In Purgatory

The Blue Point Community Coalition, a newly formed and highly passionate local civic association, has demonstrably taken the ball and run with it.   In that small hamlet, they have over 1350 members in their Facebook Group already.   Moreover, they are very much united in their passion for local stewardship.

I came out to speak before them in February, and they were right aboard then and there to become The Creek Defender for Blue Point.   For them, these places, Stillman’s Creek, Corey Creek, Purgatory Creek, are home, and they are in trouble.   From town to town I hear the same stories:  What it once was.  How we swam or fished there, but now clogged, lifeless and putrid, garbage strewn.

The only way to heal these creeks is with a comprehensive approach.    Here is a zoomable map of Purgatory Creek:

Through a mobile app from Loveland Technologies called Site Control, we will be able to survey the whole watershed for this creek, and mark out where there may be issues with road runoff, invasive plants, dumping, etc.   We will also use this community tool to plan where we will be restoring native habitat along the creek.

Information from mobile surveys would be time and location stamped so that issues could be addressed in a timely fashion.  This car, for instance, has been in the creek by the railroad tracks since about 1987.  I’ll geolocate the image on the live map so perhaps we can get it out.


Make no mistake.   Restoring Purgatory Creek as it runs into Corey Creek is an enormous undertaking.   We have to contend with silting, eutrophication due to septics, lawn fertilizer, road runoff, forest habitat destruction, and the rot that comes from stagnant waters.  Fortunately, Blue Point seems well up to the task.   There is no question their efforts will be receiving the full support of the county, the town, the DEC, and all within the Blue Point community.

I joined them, along with Stephen Borghardt, one of our directors and arch naturalist, this last Saturday for their clean up.  This is one determined, passionate bunch.  The previous week, I’d been out with Frank Piccininni, another director, and passionate horticulturalist, going door to door, meeting the people living right on the creek lower down.  They want a solution to the flooding, to the invasives, to the poor water quality.

The Blue Point Community Coalition Rocks!

I am convinced we can restore this whole corridor running from the bay up to the headwaters of Purgatory Creek, and largely because there’s enough on the ground passion, and enough already in gear to make that happen, whether that involves this local civic, the town, the county, or the DEC.   We can make this, and must make this, a collective win.   Just seeing how quickly this civic coalesced, I feel very moved to have witnessed it.   We are here to help.

Jason Borowski, you and your team are the guys to make this happen.   Save The Great South Bay is proud to support you and your civic as Creek Defender for Blue Point.   Alex Wellems, thank you so much for the grand tour of the local creeks — Stillman, Corey – and giving me a history lesson.   We also managed to find some deep muck, but I’ll call that a baptism.

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