Local leaders in Suffolk County and the three towns surrounding Lake Ronkonkoma have created a group intended to address the challenges that face the popular watershed, according to reports.
An article in Newsday reported that officials will be forming the Lake Ronkonkoma Watershed Intermunicipal Organization to tackle issues such as storm runoff, pollution, sewage and invasive non-native plants growing around the lake.
Suffolk County, Brookhaven Town and Islip Town have already agreed to join the group. Smithtown is expected to pass a measure to join at tomorrow's meeting, according to the report.
The formation of the group allows local leaders to tap into state grants to help combat the common issues that surround the lake and its parks, such as fertilizer runoff from nearby homes. Grants would also help the local municipalities develop and maintain boat ramps, to restore Lake Ronkonkoma to the popular vacation spot it once was. The report said similar measures were taken in upstate Lake George.
Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization President George Schramm welcomed the formation of the group, citing the difficulty in lobbying four separate government agencies to handle problems with the lake.
Over the past two summers, Lake Ronkonkoma has had to repeatedly close to swimmers due to algea blooms and e-coli colonies brought on by various pollutants.