The Tide Has Changed - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1801097

The Tide Has Changed

Are we taking proper care of Mecox Bay? Is it being opened wide enough, often enough, deep enough or for a long enough duration of time to cleanse Mecox Bay?

The water was still dirtier and slimier than I ever noticed. The Trustees know what to do and managed it pretty well, but now the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation seems to be making it worse. Are they footing the bill?

Let us not even talk about the oysters, clams and crabs, and just consider people surfing and swimming near the cut. It now might be a greater and more serious health and safety hazard. It was for me.

On July 15, 100 yards down from the cut, I was swimming in the ocean. I know this beach — I’m a lifelong surfer and Village Ocean Rescue swimmer who feels totally clean after being in the ocean. But not this day.

When I dove into the ocean, after the tide had changed, it was horrible: hot slime full of particulate. I felt like I needed a shower. It was disgusting.

Hours later, I had a fever from a small cut/scrap on my toe that became infected. I went to urgent care with my whole foot blown up, hot, red, swollen and painful.

When the cut is open, tons of organic matter accumulates, and warm water rushes out along the beach. Ear infections have become a given, so I wear plugs and pour vinegar into my ears. But now it seems dangerously unhealthy for the ecosystem and human system.

I am a permanent continuous resident of Water Mill for more than 30 years. We raised our kids at this beach, surfing and playing at “The Cut,” having a great deal of fun riding the lazy river with their friends. Sometimes it was not too lazy. Those were their favorite memories.

My kids are grown, we are older, and the beaches are much less peaceful. But there are other kids, families, and maybe one day I’ll be teaching grandchildren to surf.

Is this just emblematic of change that we should accept? Traffic, traffic, crowds, and now the water quality. The bay has to now accommodate more than crabs and oysters, but also houses and their runoff. The additional “upstream” developments and farms that are all running off to the bay. The sod farm and golf courses, the cesspools, lawn chemicals, fertilizers and road runoff all feed to our estuaries and bays.

Bruce Lieberman

Water Mill