Ugly Dredge Site Never Smelled So Good

By Greg Cergol
|  Thursday, May 26, 2011  |  Updated 6:49 AM EDT
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Point Lookout beach has battled a seaweed stench for some time.  But thanks to a new dredging project, residents will be able to enjoy the beach once again.

Greg Cergol

Point Lookout beach has battled a seaweed stench for some time. But thanks to a new dredging project, residents will be able to enjoy the beach once again.

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Local officials at Point Lookout Beach on Long Island are working to eliminate a foul stench from piles of seaweed that rotted after becoming trapped in a hole caused by shoreline erosion.

The project's goal is to dredge up to 20,000 cubic yards of sand from Reynolds Channel and then pump it onto the badly eroded shoreline, according to Hempstead's supervisor.

The new sand will fill in the hole that allowed the seaweed to pile up, officials said. No seaweed means no stink.

The glistening goo from the rotting seaweed drove people indoors to escape the overwhelming rotten egg odor.

"At the bus stop, kids were getting nauseous, and I mean physically ill," said Point Lookout civic leader Gerry Ottavino.

After complaints from residents, Hempstead town workers removed the seaweed piles, and late this spring, the dredging project began. 

"We can breathe again and that's a good thing," said resident Sue Marcote, as she watched sand pour from a huge pipe stretching along the shore.

The town's use of its own dredge expedited the project, said Hempstead town supervisor Kate Murray.  The dredging will continue until June 1.

"Beautiful day today, no smell. This is what living in Point Lookout is all about," said resident Chas Thompson.

Hempstead officials will review the situation next year, Murray said, and determine if more dredging work is needed.

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