Michael Busch of Bellport takes News12 out to The Old Inlet/Breach to show them how much healthier that part of the bay has become since Sandy created it six months ago -- fluke, sea turtles, seal, osprey, clear waters.
The brown tide bloom in The Great South Bay is massive and its results will be devastating. The New Inlet will mitigate the damage somewhat -- we should be happy it wasn't closed after Sandy! -- but the real problem continues to be the 500,000 septic tanks in Nassau and Suffolk. Scientists are now speculating that the Babylon area was hit hard by this brown tide because the flow of polluted groundwater running into the bay was greatest there. While some of Babylon is on sewers, much of Babylon isn't. After an historically wet June -- we had twice the rain we usually did -- the ground water, now supersaturated, flowed towards the bay, drawing septic tank water with it. Babylon's rivers and streams contribute 30% of the ground water pollution into the bay, as measured by nitrogen content, as it is. A month of flooding rains, predictably, exacerbated the problem.
The Great South Bay must be preserved for future generations.
DAMAGING BROWN TIDE SPREADS ACROSS GREAT SOUTH BAY
June rains kick starts event; Presence of The New Inlet keeps levels lower in Eastern Bay
Stony Brook, NY, July 8th 2013 – An intense and damaging brown tide has emerged across much of Great South Bay. Monitoring by The Gobler Laboratory of Stony Brook University has revealed that a brown tide developed in late June in western Great South Bay and has intensified and spread east since. Abundances of the brown tide organism were recorded at more than 1,000,000 cells per milliliter in western Great South Bay as of July 2nd in the region between the Robert Moses Bridge and Islip. Densities declined to less than 100,000 cells per milliliter within eastern Great South Bay. Densities above 100,000 cells per milliliter can be harmful to marine life. This marks the first summer brown tide in Great South Bay since 2008.
has been monitoring the breach since Sandy, measuring tides, as well as the depth and breadth of The Breach/New Inlet on a monthly basis. Here then is their June 28th report, which presents what the current conditions are there, comparing them to how they were over the past 7 months. This regular analysis is crucial, since there will be some decision taken on the fate of The Breach / New Inlet soon. Whatever decision the NYSDEC makes needs to be based on science, rather than politics. Is the breach getting bigger? Is it at all increasing the likelihood / intensity of flooding on The Great South Bay? And what of the benefits? What does this influx of clean ocean water mean for The Great South Bay and the towns of The South Shore?
All of a sudden, it seems like we are seeing loggerhead turtles not only in The Great South Bay, but in several other places in the GSB and elsewhere. The ones in The Great South Bay were at The New Inlet (see below) and at Robert Moses, as previously noted, and as well in Nicholl Bay, where, sadly, one was found dead. Since the initial story went live, we've been getting further reports from CRESLI.org (The Coastal Research And Education Society of Long Island) that there's a loggerhead in Moriches; we hear as well from one of our readers that they've seen an enormous turtle near The Shinnecock Inlet. Loggerhead? It would seem so.
That's at least what fisherman and boatsman Peter Curto had to say, and he has the pictures to prove it:
Sez “Surf FireIsland”: “Epic fluke fishing happening in the bay right now. Thanks to new inlet for making the bay full of life again!” …
Brad Geoghan took some pictures yesterday of Bellport Bay and some just south of The New Inlet. These pictures say it all -- The water is cleaner and clearer than many can remember.
Seagrant ( a lot more on them below, from their site), offers an overview of the two most important topics affecting The Great South Bay and the Western Bays -- The Breach / New Inlet, and The Crippling of The Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant By Hurricane Sandy. Here is a national marine science non-profit with a strong local presence offering their views on both these issues as part of a Post Sandy assessment of marine conditions post Sandy and what our policy should be regarding them. One's a story of dirty water being flushed out (The Breach), the other a story of dirty water pouring in (The crippled Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant). In both cases, it is crucial that as we rebuild we make wise, informed choices. As the Breach / New Inlet is flushing the Eastern Great South Bay while revitalizing it and lowering the brown algae count to perhaps 1/100th of what we are seeing in Moriches and Shinnecock Bay, we need to keep The New Inlet open -- or to put it another way, prevent it from being closed through political pressure.
Michael certainly had a busy weekend. He has for us and today's breach report a video and a slide show of the dismantling of the Pattersquash Gunner's Association Club House, which rested on Pelican Island until Sandy and The New Inlet washed her off the island and into Bellport Bay. He also brought his camera down in 4 feet of water to document the clearer, cleaner water that The New Inlet is bringing to Bellport Bay and the Eastern Great South Bay.
Since Sandy, Michael has been steadily chr0ncling what The New Inlet has brought to the eastern Great South Bay - the osprey, the seals, fish of all kinds. We have devoted a whole page to him on this site. He in turn has launched Great South Bay Images. By going through his archives you will see how The New Inlet has evolved, and the changes it has brought. You will also experience the sheer beauty of this rare natural event - a barrier beach and a bay revitalizing through the creation of a new inlet -- and of our Great South Bay itself and its wildlife.
Here then is a slide show of the club's dismantling and removal:
Michael Busch has some great pics of The Breach / New Inlet. From June 13th. Weakfish and bluefish are in abundance in Bellport Bay.