A public presentation of the East Hampton Town Trustees’ 2013 water quality test results will be delivered on March 19 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. Dr. Christopher Gobler of Stony Brook University, who assisted in the testing, will present the report. The presentation is open to the public.
Stephanie Forsberg, a trustee, announced the upcoming presentation to her colleagues at the trustees’ Feb. 25 meeting. Ms. Forsberg earned a doctoral degree in marine biology from Stony Brook in 2012.
The trustees, who manage the town’s beaches, waterways, and bottomlands on behalf of the public, tested waters under their jurisdiction, including Napeague Harbor, Fresh Pond, Accabonac Harbor, Hog Creek, Three Mile Harbor, Northwest Creek, Georgica Pond, and Hook Pond. In the biweekly tests, between the spring and fall of 2013, the trustees looked for harmful algal blooms and coliform bacteria.
In September, Ms. Forsberg reported to her colleagues that cochlodinium, or rust tide, had been discovered in Three Mile Harbor, Northwest Harbor, and Accabonac Harbor. Cochlodinium is not harmful to humans when ingested but can be fatal to shellfish and finfish.
In November, the State Department of Environmental Conservation reclassified approximately 15 acres of Hand’s Creek and about 14 acres in Accabonac Harbor, prohibiting the harvesting of shellfish from the areas on a year-round or seasonal basis. A D.E.C. spokesman said that the reclassifications resulted from analyses demonstrating increased levels of fecal coliform bacteria and the potential for shellfish harvested from the areas to cause illness if consumed.
“I think it’s a great project to continue in 2014,” Ms. Forsberg said of the water quality testing.
In other news from the meeting, the trustees will support and participate in a workshop to restore eelgrass meadows in Napeague Harbor. Officials of the Marine Meadows Program of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, which has received funding under a grant from the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership, hope to host a hands-on workshop on the site on May 18, Deborah Klughers told her colleagues.
The trustees had issued a letter in support of such a plan a few years ago and have participated in two such events in recent years, with last year’s workshop taking place at the East Hampton Sportsmen’s Alliance Expo at the Amagansett Firehouse. “We wanted to set up a day and have the public come to the beach and do the eelgrass restoration,” Ms. Klughers said.
The Marine Meadows Program is the newest component of the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s long involvement in the study and restoration of eelgrass, which has declined globally because of pollution and other factors.
Should the workshop take place as planned, Marine Meadows Program staff will provide equipment and materials and set up assembly stations on the day of the event. After a short presentation and tutorial, participants will help to weave eelgrass into biodegradable burlap discs. Divers from the Cornell Cooperative Extension will then plant the discs.
Diane McNally, the trustees’ clerk, asked Ms. Klughers and Nat Miller, a trustee and bayman, to select a site for the event.
“I’d like to have it at the beach,” Ms. Klughers said on Tuesday. “We also were thinking, instead of putting [the eelgrass] in a new space, putting it in meadows that are already there.”