Letter: Sakonnet Harbor pollution a serious concern

Posted 8/15/19

To the editor:

It is pretty clear that serious Enterococci pollution is coming from the DEM Marsh/Pond culvert. This has the potential to contaminate seafood landed at the Little Compton town dock …

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Letter: Sakonnet Harbor pollution a serious concern

Posted

To the editor:

It is pretty clear that serious Enterococci pollution is coming from the DEM Marsh/Pond culvert. This has the potential to contaminate seafood landed at the Little Compton town dock and sicken bathers and boaters at the barrier beach and DEM launching ramp often with counts several times greater than that which would close a public beach.

Another location with high counts is in the vicinity of the Sakonnet Point Club desal discharge diffuser (permitted in the harbor by DEM relocation) located at the marina pier less than 100 feet from the Parascondola Fish Pier where tons of seafood are landed, washed with harbor water and packed.

Because our group has seen these high counts since March, it is not merely recreational boats, but could be land runoff from birds or animals, leaking septic systems, land-based operations such as the use of contaminated source water for desalination, or deliberate dumping of human waste. The harbor is filled with toxic Lyngbya, a filamentous cyanobacteria, which thrives on the nitrates associated with sewage contamination.

It is time the Little Compton town government demand a comprehensive investigation of this by DEM and federal EPA. It is entirely possible that DOH and FDA could close the docks to seafood landings and shutter businesses and clubs.

Mimi Karlsson

Sakonnet Shore Watch Coalition

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