Village News Update

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Posted on: May 18, 2020

Sag Harbor Water Quality Initiative


Sag Harbor Water Quality Results Are In

Fall of 2016 the Sag Harbor Village Harbor Committee asked Stony Brook’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Studies (“SOMAS”) headed by Dr. Christopher Gobler to do a scientific assessment of the waters of the Village’s bays and coves. Although there had been concern about water quality previously, there had not been rigorous scientific sampling and documentation.

Later that year the Village received a proposal from Dr. Gobler and over the course of 2017 and early 2018 a private public partnership was formed to finance what has become a two year study.  The donors to this partnership are listed below.

Sampling began in April 2018 and culminated in September 2019.  Dr. Gobler made a presentation to the Mayor, Trustees, the Harbor Committee, donors and the public in February, 2020.

The report attached below summarizes Dr. Gobler’s presentation and shows that the waters of Sag Harbor have two problems: nitrogen pollution (leading to Harmful Algae Blooms (“HABs’)) and fecal coliform bacteria from birds, deer, dogs and other mammals including humans. 

Some have asked – “so what? What happens now?”  On the nitrogen front, the Village has been the recipient of multiple grants (nearly $1,000,000!) to install rain gardens and other mitigating measures from the CPFs of both East Hampton Town and Southampton Town, the Town of Southampton, the Peconic Estuary Program (with funds from the EPA), and, most recently, a Suffolk County ¼% sales tax WQPRP grant.  Installations are being designed and bid currently, but actual construction will only begin once the COVID limitation on construction to essential projects has been lifted.

Looking out to 2020, the SHWQI believes it is important to continue this work with a smaller, more focused format as it is key to further identify the source of human fecal coliform bacteria. Sampling started mid-May and will go into the Fall. Once the source(s) is identified steps can be taken to remediate.

Have questions? Email



            Sag Harbor Village

            East Hampton Town Trustees

            Town of Southampton

            Southampton Town Trustees


            Sag Harbor Partnership

            Sag Harbor Yacht Club

            Breakwater Yacht Club


            Sag Harbor Yacht Yard

            First Coastal Construction Corp

            Cove East Marina

            Sag Harbor Marina LLC

            Ditmas Management Corp

 Individuals and Foundations

            Josh Levine Memorial Fund

            Stephenson Pope Babcock Foundation

            Sire Foundation                                    

           Herb Sambol

            Chic Voorhis

            Luke Babcock

            Frederick Friedman


            Darius Yeckai

            Michael Daly

            Ashley Gundersen

            Michael Touhy           

            Steve Schlemmer

            Angier Duke

            Michael Duran









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