Civic seeks grant funding to restore Great Pond in Southold

As phragmites plants continue to spread throughout Great Pond in Southold, the Kenney’s-McCabe’s Beach Civic Association is seeking help from the town to address the problem before the invasive species overtakes the pond.

During Tuesday’s work session, civic members requested a letter of support from the town so they can include it in their application to secure grant funds for pond restoration.

Civic association president John Betsch said residents living near the pond noticed phragmites started to crowd the pond about a year ago.

Group for the East End vice president Aaron Virgin also addressed the Town Board on the issue Tuesday, saying he believes an increased density of phragmites could turn the freshwater pond into more of a wetlands area that can’t sustain creatures such as fish.

The restoration plan would include removing reeds and replacing them with freshwater plants. Dredging might also be needed to increase the flow of oxygen and reduce the presence of blue-green algae, Mr. Virgin added.

Town Board members agreed to offer both a letter in support of the project, as well as staff support should the restoration move forward.

Correction: An earlier version incorrectly referred to Great Pond’s location as Peconic. It is in Southold.

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Photo: Phragmites, an invasive reed species, is crowding Great Pond in Southold. The common reed grows quickly and chokes out other plants. (Credit: Kelly Zegers)