The Canaan Lake cleanup has begun! After a lengthy planning process, the cleanup of North Patchogue’s Canaan Lake has been implemented. We’re now in the second of a three-stage process designed to resolve persistent problems associated with pollution and invasive species.
Invasive species are a major problem on Long Island, taking advantage of the absence of natural predators to starve native plates of oxygen and nutrients. Two of the invasive species discovered in the lake are milfoil and cabomba, which grow without limits—killing off native species and creating hazardous conditions for recreational activities.
“After consulting with representatives of New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation, it was apparent that temporary draining of Canaan Lake was the strongest option to satisfy the goal of minimizing the invasive aquatic plant issue that has plagued the lake for years,” said PWGC Vice President and Canaan Lake Project Director Kris Almskog. “This effort will help to restore the lake’s natural habitat and allow for it to again become a recreational destination.”
The project began last year with the installation of a culvert under Traction Boulevard, which created a space through which the water can be drained. The Department of Environmental Conservation approved a permit to officially start draining the lake on May 3rd, after waiting for the amphibious species’ spawning season to end. The lake will be drained downstream, over time, to limit the drastic impact on the lower ecosystems including the Patchogue Lake and river. The plan is to lower the lake by 5 feet, and give it time to dry out over the summer. Once the water level is lowered, the troublesome plants will dry out on their own.
After drying, the real cleanup will begin: scraping the lake floor to clear it of litter, sediment, and other debris. Once the cleanup is completed, Suffolk County will allow the lake to fill up again naturally.