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Prestigious Hamptons lake poisoned by wealthy residents' lawn maintenance pesticides; swimming, fishing and boating now prohibited


(NaturalNews) Most of us imagine billionaires living in beautiful neighborhoods surrounded by idyllic lakes and lush greenery. However, it is precisely those beautiful green lawns that are making the lake in one upscale New York neighborhood far from inviting.

In fact, local officials closed the 190-acre Georgica Pond in the Hamptons this month, and banned swimming and fishing in its waters. The water has turned a downright unappealing murky green shade akin to that of split pea soup, after being inundated with toxins from the chemicals those living in the area use to maintain their lawns.

The pond is surrounded by 74 homes, some of which appear on the National Registry of Historic Places. Those who call the area home include billionaires Steven Spielberg and Ron Perlman. The water used to be a popular place for countless recreational activities including sailing, swimming, fishing, crabbing and paddle-boarding, but it's now virtually deserted.

The algal blooms taking over the pond are caused by an overload of phosphorus and nitrogen that come from household wastewater cesspools and fertilizer that enters the pond through groundwater. Another problem is phragmites, a weed similar to bamboo that has been spreading quickly across the pond and taking over. These poisons have been removing the oxygen from the water, killing the fish that live there.

Local dog dies after drinking the water

As the levels of toxic chemicals in the lake continue to rise, plants are dying, and some people's pets have perished after drinking water from the lake. When resident Annie Gilchrist Hall's Jack Russell terrier Annie died after drinking the toxic pond water four years ago, she sent Annie's stomach tissue to Cornell, where an analysis revealed that she had cyanobacteria. Gilchrist Hall said that the dog's death was brought about by toxic shock simply from licking her paws.

One local resident who has been fishing in the pond since 1970 says that the water is so full of poison that he hardly sees fish any more. He said there was something "that wasn't quite right" about crabs he caught recently.

Concerned citizens are now trying to raise the funds needed to fix the problem. No rules are in place limiting the amount of pesticides that homeowners are allowed to use on their yards.

East Hampton town trustee Rick Drew said: "We are at a tipping point. We need to take a hard look at the future in order to have sustainable clean water for future generations. A lot of the problems we are seeing today began in the 1980s, when there was an explosion of irrigation systems. The result was a lot of trophy lawns and spectacular rose gardens along with a ton of nitrogen seeping into the ground."

Fixing the problem will take lots of time and money

So far, the Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation has raised more than $1 million in just under a year. However, it's a complicated problem, and the entire septic system in the Hamptons also needs to be replaced, as it has been pumping nitrogen into the water on a constant basis. Engineers are working on formulating a plan, but it's going to take a lot of time and money to get things right again. In the meantime, residents whose properties back up to the lake have been advised to add buffers of vegetation to help contain the runoff.

Unfortunately, this problem is not only confined to Georgica Pond. Many bodies of water around the world are rife with toxins that are slowly suffocating the life right out of them, and all those who swim there or eat fish caught in the water are at risk. While natural remedies like turmeric can help support your body's healthy immune response, the real solution to this problem is putting regulations in place that prevent any sort of activity that can cause potential toxins to make their way into one of Earth's most precious resources.

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