Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth (D-Great Neck) met on May 7 with Brian Schneider of the Nassau County Department of Public Works and residents living near Udalls Pond at the Great Neck Public Library to hear about the status of the pond.
Bosworth, along with the DPW, worked to ensure that the county dredged the pond in order to protect the natural habitat surrounding and impacted by the pond. Dredging of the pond was completed last August, but concerns have been ongoing about when they can expect the project to be completed.
The neighbors asked questions about the mud at the pond. Schneider, a hydrologist, explained that Udalls Pond is a wetland habitat; parts are shallow and muddy and other parts are deeper. The county will be planting thousands of plants, some under the water, to attract wildlife. He emphasized that DPW’s main priority right now is repairing the weir to bring the pond level to its proper elevation for the new plantings to have the proper conditions to survive.
This repair operation could take some time because work at the weir can only be performed around low tides.
According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Army Corps of Engineers, portions of the pond must remain a marsh, but it is estimated that when the project is completed, the pond will be 3’ 9” above sea level.
There may be more mud near the bridge because they were required to stay a distance away from the bridge during dredging so as not to compromise the integrity of the bridge’s infrastructure. T
The DEC asks that the county leave any fallen trees or branches that are not on residents’ property because they provide landing places for shore birds and shelter for fish. However, the County will be removing debris from the pond that it encounters during planting.
Schneider assured the residents that he will speak to the contractors and the county DPW will make sure the staging areas are restored, within parameters set by DEC and the Army Corps of Engineers. He indicated that he will be looking into assertions by some residents that the grading of their property was altered as a result of the remediation.