August Environmental Committee Minutes

Abridged Environmental Committee Meeting Minutes


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

10:00 am – Conference Room – SIPOA Administration Building

Interns, Joe Roddey (Civil Engineering, The Citadel) and Tiernan VanDyke (Environmental Science, University of Rochester) presented their report on Seabrook Island Lake Management. A link to the full report can be found by clicking here.

The 2017 study was based on the work done by the engineering interns in 2104. The following facets of lake management were studied and addressed:

Lake Sediment

There is a healthy amount of sediment in the Seabrook Lakes. Dredging done on the Finger Lakes was successful. There is less sediment and deeper water.

Water Quality Based on Dissolved Oxygen Levels

Generally, Seabrook lakes have healthy amounts of dissolved oxygen. Lakes with aerators maintain a good level of oxygen.

Jenkins Point lakes with algae blooms indicate a low level of dissolved oxygen. One cause is water temperature, which nothing can be done it control. Aerators installed in these lakes would help.


Salinity is caused by tidal influence and changes the types of life in a lake. Levels are as expected.


There is very little turbidity (murkiness) in the lake water, which indicates a healthy lake.

Nitrogen and Phosphorus Levels

Levels can be high in the Jenkins Point Lakes, caused by the bird population. There seems to be little effect of chemicals used in fertilizing lawns on the island. Proper shore line planting prevents pollution caused by lawn chemicals and should be enforced. Duck weed which grows on one Jenkins Point Lake is ugly but harmless. The algae bloom risk is greatest in the Finger Lakes.

Fish Survey

The fish population is a good indicator of a lake’s health and the results indicate a healthy fish population. No restocking is indicated at this time, but the population should continue to be monitored.

Alligator Population

Alligators are also an indication of a lake’s health. There are estimated to be 101 alligators in the Seabrook Lakes, which would average 2 per lake.

Recommendations from the study are:

  • Install aerators on lakes with low oxygen levels, especially in the Finger Lakes
  • Continue to monitor the fish population
  • Enforce proper shore line planting
  • Generally, our lakes are healthy. A similar study should be done every 2 or 3 years.

The committee members appreciate all the hard and thorough work done by these two men. A very thorough and comprehensive report.

Wild life mapping during the July indicates the reported sighting of 1 otter, 12 reports of turkeys, and several spotting of our piebald deer. The turkey population continues to grow, with very few predators on the island at this time. If the population needs to be thinned, there will be restrictions since wild turkeys are a protected species.  The best way to thin the wild turkeys will be investigated if it is necessary.

Barry Shedrow and Jody Turner have drafted a letter to be sent to the Town of Seabrook stating concerns on Off Shore Development.

A task force will be setting up dates for the annual deer inventory on Seabrook.

The next Highway Litter Control on Betsy Kerrison will be on September 9. Information will be sent to the SIPOA Blast, The Seabrooker and Tidelines to encourage volunteers.

The findings from the Common Property Task Force have been reported to the board. It is recommended that education needs to move forward.

-Submitted by Lucy Hoover


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One Response to August Environmental Committee Minutes

  1. Bill Thomas says:

    Although the report didn’t mention it, I think the biggest cause of the high phosphorus and nitrogen levels in the finger lakes is fertilizer on the lawns fronting the streets. Rains wash that fertilizer into the streets and into the storm drains which all empty into the finger lakes. Discouraging lawns next to the streets in this neighborhood would help reduce this pollution.

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