Massachusetts Audubon
Outdoor Almanac


Kate Browning Funds Pollution Control - Dec. 2008:Storm Water Remediation Project to Upgrade Four Critical Drainage Locations on CR-21.
Read Press Release, Dec-17-2008


Take a Scenic Drive down the headwaters of the Carmans River...
by Joseph Gabrinowitz, Dec. 2002, Earth Science Research Project @ Stony Brook University; Modified by
Dr. G.N. Hanson, Oct. 2008

View Slides of Scenic Drive Field Trip
 Nov. 1, 2008 ...


Stormwater Mgmt. Links

  •  Brookhaven Town
       Stormwater Program
  •  AbTech Industries,
       Stormwater Treatment
  •  Fabco Industries,
       Stormwater Filtration Systems

  • " Regarding the stormwater issue I have requested that Suffolk County DPW look into the direct discharges from CR 21. Remediation of stormwater outflows that discharge directly into surface waters remains a top environmental priority of Suffolk County" - Steve Levy, County Executive, in letter dated 7-28-2008


    Coalition Identifies Storm Drains Dumping Directly into Carmans River - June, 2008 - Location of Upper Lake Storm Drains dumping directly into Carmans River.
    View Map of Pollution Sources

     



    WHAT'S NEW

    RESOLUTION NO. 2013-465 was PASSED on June 4, 2013

    Outboard Motors Now Prohibited
    on Willow & Lily Lakes

    BE IT RESOLVED by the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven in Suffolk County, New York, as follows:
    That in accordance with the provisions of Town Law Section 130, Town Law Section 265, and Municipal Home Rule Law Section 20(5), a public hearing be held by the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven at the Town Auditorium at Independence Hill, Second Floor, Farmingville, New York 11738, on June 4, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. to consider enacting Introductory Local Law #_________of 2013 by repealing and replacing Chapter 13 of the Code of the Town of Brookhaven entitled, “Boat Control”, §13-5.1 entitled “Outboard motors restricted”. It is the intent of this amendment to prohibit the operation of a motorboat other than a motorboat using an electric motor to propel same on the Peconic River, Willow Lake or Lilly Lake f/k/a Upper and Lower Yaphank Lakes within the Town of Brookhaven.

    RESOLVED, that the Town Clerk of the Town of Brookhaven, in the County of Suffolk, State of New York, is hereby authorized and directed to publish the notice of the time and place of such hearing at least ten (10) days in advance of such time in the South Shore Press, a newspaper which has a general circulation in said Town.

    Dredging the Lakes FAQ - June, 2013

      We compiled a list of questions regarding the upcoming dredging of the Yaphank Lakes. The answers were supplied by Chic Voorhis, of Nelson, Pope and Voorhis Environmental Consulting Firm.

      Frequently Asked Questions on the Dredging of the Lakes

    • WHEN WILL HYDRORAKING BEGIN - Expected to begin later this week.
    • WHEN WILL DREDGING BEGIN - Expected to begin around July 1st.
    • WHEN THEY FINISH HYDRORAKING WILLOW LAKE WILL THEY CONTINUE ON TO LILY LAKE WHILE THEY BEGIN DREDGING WILLOW LAKE - I don't think so; they'll need the full month to set up pipe and grade the dewatering area. I expect that dredging will be sequential after hydro-raking is complete.
    • HYDRORAKING WILL CREATE A LOT OF SEDIMENT, WILL THIS CREATE A PROBLEM WITH THE FISH PEOPLE - Silt curtains will be used to contain sediment.
    • WHERE IS THE VEGETATION GOING TO BE STORED BEFORE IT GOES TO THE LANDFILL, OR IS IT GOING DIRECTLY ONTO TRUCKS TO THE LANDFILL - Vegetation will be placed on the Town park property for Upper Lake and the NYSDEC Boat ramp for Lower Lake; the material will be removed relatively quickly so it does not accumulate.
    • HOW IS THE DREDGE PIPE GOING TO BE RUN - Down the River, down Lower Lake, north on Yaphank Avenue, east on East Main Street.
    • IF IT IS GOING TO BE RUN IN THE STREAM BED, WHERE WILL IT COME OUT AT LILY LAKE - it will come out just north of the dam.
    • IF IT IS GOING DOWN MAIN STREET, WHAT SIDE OF THE ROAD - Down the south side of East Main Street.
    • WHEN IT HAS TO CROSS A ROAD WILL THE ROAD BE CUT AND THE PIPE BURIED, OR WILL IT LAY ON TOP OF THE ROAD AND BE BRIDGED - It will be directionally drilled, or saw cut and placed beneath pavement with pavement restoration after the pipe is removed. The road will not be bridged.
    • WHERE WILL THE AUXILARY PUMPS BE SET UP—HOW MANY - I don't know exactly at this time. I expect at least 1 booster along the lake route. We will obtain a work plan from the contractor with more details.
    • HOW MUCH SITE WORK NEEDS TO BE DONE AT THE DE-WATERING SITE - A berm will be created on the south side to "close the contours. Scraping of less than 1 foot of material is needed to create the berm.
    • I KNOW ACETONE DISAPATES RATHER QUICKLY, WHAT ABOUT HEXACHLORAPHINE ---IS THIS A PROBLEM - No, hexavalent chromium was of concern only because the lab method resulted in a limit of detection that was greater than the guideline. A subsequent TCLP test was completed, and demonstrated that concentrations were not significant.
    • HOW WILL THE DE-WATERING OF THE LAKE EFFECT THE DREDGING ? THERE WILL BE A LOT OF WATER COMING OUT OF THE LAKE- WILL THIS EFFECT THE HOURS OF OPERATION SO THAT THE LAKE CAN REPLENISH ITSELF - Pumping is allowed 12 hours per day for 6 days per week unless streamflow at Upper Lake is below 2000 gpm; in this case, dredging will occur 5 days a week for 8 hours per day. The river south of the lake will still receive subsurface outflow. The off dredging hours are expected to be sufficient to allow the lake to rebound and the river to flow.
    • WHAT ARE GOING TO BE THE LIMITS OF THE DREDGING? AT WILLOW LAKE YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING BACK UNTIL THE STREAM STARTS---WHAT ABOUT LILY LAKE - A map was prepared and provided with the bid documents. No closer than 10 feet to shorelines, and areas that are less than 4 feet in depth in the upper parts of the lakes will not be able to be dredged.
    • WILL THERE BE ANY PROVISION MADE TO SAVE THE WILDLIFE - The dredged area will be surrounded with silt curtain, therefore, aquatic wildlife will avoid the dredging area. Other mobile speces will avoid the area when there is activity. NYSDEC set the dredging window from June 1 to October 31 to protect spawning fish species.

    Town Board Passes All Lake Dredging Resolutions - May 21, 2013

    • "At the last Town Board meeting we made substantial progress in moving forward the dredging of the lakes. Hopefully come this fall we will all see the benefits of our hard work; Lily and Willow Lakes-free of invasive species!" - Connie Kepert

      The five resolutions that passed are listed below:

    DEC Permit to Dredge Lakes Released! - March, 2013

    • The official DEC Permit to dredge the lakes has been released. Work can now proceed. Many thanks to all the individuals and State and Local agencies that have been involved in this long-running effort to clean up the Yaphank Lakes.
      Read Permit Details

    New Fencing for Swezey-Avey House at Willow Lake - June, 2011

    • The Coalition to Save the Yaphank Lakes, working with Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Connie Kepert and The Yaphank Historical Society, received funding for a project to remove the old chain-link fencing, and install new, historically-accurate white picket fencing, to match the original fence shown in the photo below.

    • The old fencing is gone and the site has been graded for the new installation. Stay tuned for pictures of the completed project. One more example of restoring a lovely part of the past to the present community of Yaphank.

    LI Advance - February 17, 2011 - by Linda Leuzzi
     A Draft Watershed Plan to Protect the River is Accepted

    • "There are 5,400 acres already protected in the Carmans River Watershed, with another 3,700 on the town's radar in the draft Carmans River Watershed Protection & Management Plan proposed for open space acquisition that even includes Legacy Village, although with a caveat." Read Advance Article

    Protected Lands Council Final Report - January 19, 2011
     Stewardship of Public Lands in the Upper Carmans River Watershed: Recommendations

    • "The recommendations of the Protected Lands Council included in this study pertain to all public land north of the Long Island Expressway, extending to the existing Paumanok Path Greenbelt Trail in the Whiskey Road area. East-west boundaries generally conform to the watershed limits except where logical connections go beyond those lines."
      Read Final Report

    Newsday - November 16, 2010
     Lesko and Civic Groups Seek Dialogue on Carmans River

    • "A study group is expected to develop guidelines for protecting the 10-mile river from private development. There are presently no special protections for private lands that border the Carmans, which runs from Middle Island to Shirley."
      Read Newsday Article

    Newsday - October 21, 2010
     Brookhaven Proposal Would Preserve Carmans River

    • "In what the participants lauded as a watershed moment in protecting Long Island's environment, Brookhaven and other government officials joined environmentalists Wednesday to outline an agreement for preserving the pristine Carmans River. Standing on town parkland by the river in Yaphank, Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko announced the town was forming a Carmans River Study Group to develop guidelines for protecting the river from polluting development. Currently there is no special protection for private land bordering the 10-mile stream."
      Read Newsday Article

    Task Force Final Recommendations and Vote - Oct. 4, 2010

    • On October 4, 2010 the Carmans River Protection Working Group convened to review the consultants findings and recommendations. The Working Group crafted their own recommendations which they hope will be adopted by the Town of Brookhaven and Suffolk County.
      See Document and Votes Cast ...

    Long Island Advance - June 3, 2010

    "Goals To Protect The River - Brookhaven's Carmans River Protection Plan draws crowd .."  Read More ...

    Public Meeting Held at Yaphank Fire House, April 21, 2010

    • Suffolk County, and their consultant, Nelson, Pope, and Voorhis, held a public meeting to present their work to date to all interested members of the public.
      ...Read Meeting Minutes ...

    Trumpeter Swans Return to Willow Lake - Dec. 15, 2009

    A pair of rare Trumpeter Swans have returned to Willow Lake. Last seen here in February 2009, the pair has returned. Trumpeters are the largest native North American birds, and are endangered and rare for our region. View Swans

    North Fork Sun - Levy negotiates $57M Legacy Village sale price

     Longwood Board of Education vice president Daniel Tomaszewski drew the most questions from the Legislature over his concern that the number of school-age children Mr. Levy has said the project would generate -- an estimate he said is "too conservative."

     Mr. Levy has stated in several public settings that the proposed one- and two-bedroom units would result in fewer than 100 new students in the district. Legis. Louis D'Amaro (D-North Babylon) said Mr. Levy has indicated to him that the project might generate "a couple-hundred" new students. Mr. Kent said the county examined 14 condo complexes in the Longwood School District and learned they produced a total of 4,434 children. "That's .15 children per unit," he said.

     Legacy Village will again take center stage in the county next week. Suffolk's Council on Environmental Quality is expected to discuss the project at a meeting Wednesday. View Article

    Groundwater Contributing Areas and Land Use for Carmans River

    Model estimated contributing areas are based on projected future average pumping rates and long term average precipitation and recharge.View Model

    Carmans River Partnership - Legacy Village Letter - Oct. 20, 2009

    • Over twenty environmental and civic groups join forces to protest the Legacy Village Project proposed by Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy..."We request that the County Legislature table or disapprove this resolution pending completion of 1) a full environmental impact statement (EIS) on the proposed surplus declaration and transfer program and 2) the Carmans River Groundwater Watershed Preservation Plan study on which the Town of Brookhaven and the Central Pine Barrens Commission are embarking..."
       Read the letter ...

    Carmans River Partnership Field Session - Oct. 16, 2009

    • Prior to their Annual Meeting, the Carmans River Partnership leaders took a field trip to see first hand the scope of the problems they face keeping the upper reaches of the Carmans healthy. They found ATV damage, garbage and dumping, and illegal posting of land.
       View report and pictures of damage ...

    Local Cub Scouts Help Plant Garden at Lily Lake - May 16, 2009

    Many Thanks to local Cub Scout Pack #79 for their work on Saturday. Pack 79 showed up at 9:00AM sharp and planted a beautiful garden around the new sign at Lily Lake. Thanks again for all your help !!
       View Slides of Cub Scouts in action at Lily Lake ...

    CSYL Signs Restore Historical Names of the Yaphank Lakes - April 23, 2009

    Willow Lake Sign: "Original site of Swezey's Mill, built under a grant from the town trustees to Capt. Robert Robertson in 1739. He built the first grist and saw mills in what is now Yaphank. The mill pond that was formed became known as Willow Lake."
    Lily Lake Sign: "The Homan-Gerard Mill Site was a typical family mill complex. By 1771, there were at least five mill complexes along the Carmans River. The village that grew up along the street connecting the Upper and Lower Mills was known as Millville, and later Yaphank. The lower mill pond became known as Lily Lake." View Slides of Signs for Willow & Lily Lakes ...

    CSYL's Willow Lake Water Quality Monitoring Underway - April 2009

    CSYL, working with Brookhaven National Lab, Brookhaven Town Environmental Protection, and Boy Scout Troop 433 of Middle Island, has initiated a project to monitor water quality at multiple sites from Bartlett Rd. to Willow Lake spillway. We will be measuring TDS, Salinity, pH, Conductivity, Temperature, and Dissolved Oxygen, as well as Nitrate-Nitrogen values, with samples taken at five monitoring sites, from Bartlett Rd. to just below the Willow Lake spillway.

    >>>> View Lake Data ...

    Harvester Returns to Lily Lake ... to Work ! - April 4, 2009

    Brookhaven Town Highway Dep't. personnel launched the Peconic Queen this Saturday, April 4, to begin weed harvesting on Lily Lake. It was cold and quite windy, but the Peconic Queen seemed to handle & function well. Each pass of the harvester brought back 2 full payloader buckets. The quantity of the weeds brought out of the lake was amazing. It looks to be a good start at keeping the weeds down until a final solution can be put in place. View Slides of Peconic Queen at Lily Lake ...

    Carmans River/Willow Lake Sampling Results - Oct./Dec., 2008
    Suffolk Cty. Public Health Services, Div. of Environmental Quality

    CSYL requested water samples be taken at Willow Lake Spillway, this past October. Initially samples were requested for the area at the bottom of the west embankment. This area is characterized by rust-colored water that seeps from the embankment, and remains in the slow-moving pool indefinitely. Read the detailed reports. What were the findings ? - Above normal levels of aluminum, barium, and manganese at all sites, high fecal coliform readings at the beach site #240-172E; and extremely high levels of manganese and iron, as well as high levels of the following chemicals: Benzo(b)fluoranthene, Benzo(ghi)perylene, Benzo-a-pyrene, Chloroxylenol, Chrysene, and 1,4-Dichlorobenzene were found at the spillway embankment site #240-169

    Trumpeter Swans Acknowledged by New York State Rare Bird Site -
    Feb. 13, 2009

    "Two TRUMPETER SWAN (S) were recently identified on Upper Lake in Yaphank. These birds presumably moving south from northern New York and the Great Lakes region stem from an introduced population released in New York and adjacent Ontario and are not yet on the New York list. Discussed annually by the New York State Avian Records Committee and based on criteria established by NYSARC for acceptance of exotic species Trumpeters are still several years away from being added to the state list. But reports of sightings are encouraged so that their movements away from their few current breeding sites can be monitored." ... read New York Rare Bird reports for 2009.

    Rare Trumpeter Swans Sighted at Willow Lake -
    Feb. 11, 2009

    Three Trumpeter Swans, the largest native North American birds, an endangered species, and very rare for our region, have appeared at Willow Lake this week. In a recent period of unusually busy bird activity on the lake, a pair of adult Trumpeters showed up, along with an immature Trumpeter. Anthony Graves, from the Town of Brookhaven Environmental Protection Dept., after viewing the birds with a spotting scope, and observing their behaviour, has confirmed their identification.View Swans ...

    Four Seasons of Recreation !

    Willow Lake froze over hard this January, and despite having to shovel a few inches of snow off the surface, nothing stopped the hockey games View Slides of Skaters ...

    CSYL's Willow (Upper) Lake Water Quality Monitoring Initiative - Jan. 2009

      CSYL, working with Brookhaven National Lab, Brookhaven Town Environmental Protection, and Boy Scout Troop 433 of Middle Island, has initiated a project to monitor water quality at multiple sites from Bartlett Rd. to Willow (Upper) Lake spillway. Stay tuned for more news. Hopefully, real work can begin in early March, 2009.

      In a related effort, CSYL has contacted NY DEC for biological sampling data on the Carmans River, for the years 1989 through 2008. We received a letter from Margaret Novak, NY DEC Stream Biomonitoring Unit, Bureau of Water Assessment and Management. Only 2 Carmans River sites were monitored, both below Lily Lake dam. Here are summaries of their findings:


    Legislator Kate Browning Spearheads Coalition's Stormwater Initiative - Jan. 2009

    Suffolk County Third District Legislator Kate Browning has spearheaded two projects that aim to restore the ecological health and recreational opportunities for fishing and boating that constituents have enjoyed for generations on Upper and Lower Yaphank Lake. Read More ...

    First Appearance of Lily Lake Name Change - Dec. 2008

    NYS DEC updates its signage at Lily (Lower) Lake! View Sign ...

    Coalition Witnesses Trial Launch of Peconic Queen Harvester in Lily Lake - Oct. 2008

    Brookhaven Town Highway Dep't. personnel launched the recently purchased harvester, Peconic Queen, for a trial run in Lily Lake. Other than a small hydraulic system problem, all systems were go. The Peconic Queen will return in the early spring for the first harvest of invasive weeds! View Slides of Peconic Queen at Lily Lake ...

    Researcher Deciphers the Genetic Lineage of Yaphank's Milfoil - September 22, 2008

    "CSYL was contacted by Ryan Thum, a scientist at Grand Valley State Univ, in Michigan, this past summer. He requested and we supplied him with milfoil samples from Willow Lake (Upper Lake)" Read Results ...

    CSYL & Councilwoman Kepert Restore Original Lake Names - August 19, 2008

    "At Tuesday night's Town Board meeting, Brookhaven Councilwoman Kepert responded to the Coalition To Save The Yaphank Lakes by ushering in a resolution to officially change the name of the Upper and Lower Lakes in Yaphank to Willow and Lilly Lakes respectively." Read More...

    Steve Levy Responds to Coalition Action Letter - July, 2008

    In response to CSYL mailing to local town & county leaders, Steve Levy answers our requests for more action ... View Letter From Steve Levy, Suffolk County Executive ...

    Coalition Pushes Town for Stormwater Management Action - June, 2008

    CSYL has contacted John Rouse, Sup't. of Highways, Brookhaven Town, for information and status on the Stormwater Management Plan of Action for Upper and Lower Lakes in Yaphank. View Slides of Willow Lake Falls Cleanup...

    Coalition Identifies Storm Drains Dumping Directly into Carmans River - June, 2008

    Location of Upper Lake Storm Drains dumping directly into Carmans River >>> View Map <<<

    Coalition Begins Spring Projects at Willow Lake (a.k.a Upper Lake) - May - June, 2008

    CSYL Members spruce up the area; Dr. Steve Abrams, of Stony Brook's School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences, volunteers his time to create the first Fish Inventory Report for the lakes. View Slides ...

    Coalition Gets NYS DEC to Install Invasive Species Signs at Upper & Lower Lakes - February, 2008

    "Invasive Species Do Not Sell List ... Nassau and Suffolk Counties " Read More...

    "Protect Your Waters ! Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species... When Your Leave a body of water, remove any mud, plants, fish, or animals before transporting equipment"Read More...

    Lower Lake Disposal Station Installed, March, 2008 - to be used by boaters to dispose of any plants clinging to boats. View ...

    Lower Lake weeds, already starting up in March. View ...

    Trout Season 2008 Opens at Upper Lake. View Slide Show ...

    Coalition Gets Dam Analysis from Consultants - December 10, 2007

    "The dam consists of an earth fill dam with bulkheading on the upstream side impounding Upper Yaphank Lake (see photo 9). Generally, the bulkhead is in good condition and does not need replacement except for about four feet on the east side of the spillway. The dam is actually about two hundred feet wide with Yaphank-Middle Island Road running along the dam." Read More ...

    Aquatic Analysts Inc. Responds to Coalition's RFI - December 7, 2007

    "In regards to weed harvesting, this may have to be done 2 times per year. Since the areas are shallow the water level may have to be raised in order to float the loaded harvester. One advantage of the shallow waters is that the cutter bar on the harvester should be able to cut just above the hydrosoil. The hydrosoil is the layer of sediment that comes in contact with the water. By cutting the plants this close to the hydrosoil the regrowth of the plants may be inhibited. " Read More ...

    Dr. Ken Wagner, Pres. NALMS, Responds to Coalition's RFI - December, 2007

    "Variable leaf watermilfoil (VWM) and Cabomba caroliniana (CC) represent a very difficult combination. They co-occur in coastal outwash lakes most often, with slightly acidic waters and usually sandy substrates overlain by organic muck. Dominance can fluctuate by year or location in the pond, although under stable conditions, CC usually becomes dominant. No one herbicide will kill both, and no one herbicide will kill either in a single dose."  Read More ...

    Carmans River Protection Group Formed - December 4, 2007

    "The establishment of a Working Group for the Upper and Lower Lakes of the Carmans River, which will assist in development of strategies to clean and protect the lakes from invasive species, restore their natural beauty and help to preserve and protect the entire Carmans River." Read More ...

    Town Board Meeting - November 8, 2007

    Supervisor Foley and members of the Town Board -
    As some of you may know, the community of Yaphank is very concerned about the invasive plants in the Upper and Lower Lakes. During the past few months there have been meetings with various elected officials on the State, County and Town level to see if there are any options available ... "
     Read More ...