After years of trying to pretend there was no problem, and letting potential solutions drop, Sag Harbor officials under a new mayor have gotten serious about potential health risks at the only bathing beach within village limits. Call it a creek, dreen, or drainage ditch, the short water course that empties onto Havens Beach is at last slated for a long-overdue pollution-cleanup effort — though not until next year at the earliest.
The Suffolk County Health Department had ordered Havens Beach temporarily closed to swimming more than once over the years, for fear of bacterial contamination. But it was not until tests showed human and animal waste in the water that the powers that be really committed to doing something about it.
Work on a tentative plan for a series of catch basins, filters, and a restored wetland could begin next winter if money is found. Happily, environmental remediation of this kind can win federal and state funding. The East Hampton Town Board and the town trustees should lend their support to the effort right away, too, as Havens Beach lies within the town limits, and any improvement in water quality there would pay indirect dividends for Northwest Harbor and beyond.
The Sag Harbor Village Trustees are to be commended for taking on this challenge and vowing it see it through.