Written by Carol Frank Friday, 05 April 2013 00:00
“We’re hauling out 40 loads of dredged material a day and trucking it to an out-of-state DEC approved site,” said Joe Giordano, a foreman at Galvin Brothers who is overseeing this stage of the work of the restoration and dredging of Udalls Pond.
The land to the north of the pond, bordered by Beach Road, is being graded in steppes going down to the pond’s level, and the transitional area will be planted in native plants that can tolerate salt water marsh conditions and attract wildlife.
The concrete barriers that kept the massive geo-tubes in place will be removed, the weir will be repaired and a fish ladder will be installed at the western pond to allow fish to migrate back into the eastern and western ponds. The mud islands in the eastern pond will be planted with appropriate marsh plants and wading birds will soon grace the area again.
In addition to its beauty and offering feeding and nesting grounds to wildlife, Udalls Pond plays a vital role in the drainage of the upper Peninsula, protecting homes from flooding in major storms.
The project had moved quickly at first due to the mild winter of 2012, but by summertime, had slowed down due to delayed payments from Nassau County. Once those difficulties were overcome, along came Superstorm Sandy which delayed projects that were primed and approved to accept the dredged earth.
Homeowners in the area were especially frustrated at the delays and some were concerned about the amount of silt that had been returned to the pond after Sandy swept through.
According to Nassau County Department of Public Works hydro-geologist Brian Schneider, an engineer from the county did assess the amount of silt that had returned to the pond. The dredging project had removed 36,000 cubic yards of material and from April of 2012 to December, only 1,000 cubic yards of material had returned. Mr. Schneider said that this level of silting is not considered significant and may well represent the normal result of run-off and that when the weir is repaired the level of the pond will rise by 1.5 feet.
Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth, who had worked diligently to get the project funded by the county and who had provided communication and coordination between various parties in the project, said, “I am pleased to see that the project at Udall’s pond is continuing to move forward after a pause due to Superstorm Sandy. I look forward to seeing how beautiful it will look once the planting commences and we start seeing a return of wildlife to the pond.”