Thursday August 2, 2018-Legislator Sunderman joined with County Executive Steve Bellone, Councilman Michael Loguercio and residents of Yaphank to announce $1 Million in funding that along with a state grant will construct a bypass for fish to swim around a 200 year old dam.
“This is a great day for the residents, the river, and for the revitalization of the lower lake!” Said Sunderman.
Fish have been unable to migrate throughout the entire network of the Carmans River since dams were constructed over 200 years ago. A fish ladder was erected at the Sunrise Highway Culvert within Southaven Park and last year, the Town of Brookhaven completed construction of the ladder connecting Upper and Lower Lake. This fish ladder is located at the Yaphank Avenue Culvert and is the final link that will allow fish access to the entire system.
The residents of Yaphank have advocated for well over 10 years for a project such as this that would allow fish to return to the lake. “Since taking office, I have worked tirelessly to see this project come to fruition for the residents of Yaphank and it gives me great pride to see this project through to the end!” Stated Legislator Sunderman.
The community joined together at the historic Hawkins House to witness County Executive Bellone sign the bill authorizing the funding for this project. “This is a prime example of how all levels of government can work together to accomplish a goal” Stated Brookhaven Town Councilman Mike Loguercio. The construction of the fish ladder in collaboration with the Town of Brookhaven’s efforts to dredge the Lower Lake and remove the invasive plants species will overall restore this lake to its natural beauty and improve the quality of life for the residents of Yaphank. After many years of waiting, they will have a lake that is suitable for recreational activities such as swimming, boating and fishing.