Talking Trash and Protecting our Ponds

 

The cold temperatures we have been experiencing over the last couple of weeks may have some of us retreating to the warmth of the indoors, while others look forward to enjoying winter outdoor activities.

We are fortunate to have such great resources around Hempstead Harbor to enjoy in all seasons. Whether at the beaches in summer, fishing off local fishing piers, or skating on local ponds, PLEASE REMEMBER TO TAKE ALL OF YOUR BELONGINGS AND TRASH BACK HOME WITH YOU OR PROPERLY DISPOSE OF TRASH IN AVAILABLE CONTAINERS. Any debris left along the shore becomes a hazard to marine life and birds.

Scudder’s Pond in Sea Cliff has been a popular skating pond since the arrival of Sea Cliff’s earliest residents. The recent restoration of the pond has created a healthy environment for wildlife and a beautiful setting for local residents to enjoy year round. When the pond is frozen, residents often leave skating or hockey equipment, chairs, benches, or brooms on the pond’s surface, intending to use them again within a short time. But these items can easily be lost to the bottom of the pond in a quick or unexpected thaw, eventually presenting a risk to wildlife and resulting in degradation of the pond.

Here are some icy facts and common-sense tips to help ensure safety and prevent trash from entering local waters.

  • Make sure the ice is thick enough. According to Weathernation (see http://www.weathernationtv.com/news/know-ice-safe/), ice is not considered safe to walk on until it is at least 4 inches thick.
  • Be sure that temperatures are adequate to sustain the ice. The Ashton Ice Growth Prediction Method (see http://lakeice.squarespace.com) suggests that it takes approximately 6 days of temperatures at 20-25F to form approximately 6 inches of ice, but many other conditions come into play.
  • Always check current conditions. Although there may be successive days of below-freezing temperatures, any slight change in temperature, cloud cover, and wind can affect the ice.
  • Be cautious. Many frozen ponds (such as Scudder’s) have moving water below the surface that can make ice unstable.
  • Do not leave items on the ice. A large snowfall can bury items and create hazards for wildlife and humans alike, and sudden warming and thawing can cause items to sink to the bottom of the pond.
  • Take your trash with you. Improperly disposed of trash gets blown into shoreline vegetation and local water bodies, where it becomes an unsightly mess and a risk to marine life and other wildlife.
  • Please do your part to protect local ponds and Hempstead Harbor. If you see cups, food wrappers, beverage bottles, or other debris, please pick these up and dispose of them properly in available trash containers. What is left on the ice will end up at the bottom of the pond.

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