County Funds Baxter’s Pond Dredging

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From left: Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, Village of Baxter Estates Mayor Nora Haagenson, Baxter’s Pond Foundation President Nancy Comer and North Hempstead Town Clerk Wayne Wink discuss the need to dredge part of Baxter Pond. (Photo courtesy of the office of Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton)

To maintain the health of the pond and protect nearby Manhasset Bay, Nassau County will dredge Port Washington’s Baxter’s Pond to clear harmful debris from its basin, Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D–Glen Cove) said.

With support from Baxter Estates Mayor Nora Haagenson and Baxter’s Pond Foundation President Nancy Comer, Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton advocated for Nassau County’s Department of Public Works (DPW) to issue a work order and undertake the project after inspections revealed the growing level of obstruction.

“Baxter’s Pond and Preserve is filled with natural treasures that we have a duty to protect for future generations,” DeRiggi-Whitton said. “The fact that the water runs from the pond under Shore Road and into Manhasset Bay makes dredging the basin an especially critical component of our efforts to preserve both of these precious waterways. I pleased to be able to facilitate this dredging project.”

Underground streams and storm drains empty into the pond. However, litter and other debris also runs into the stream, where it is trapped by the catchment basin alongside the bridge at the upper end of the pond. Additional accumulation of sand from winter road treatments, silt, leaves and other debris has caused the basin to back up to the point where it is in need of dredging again.

“The Baxter’s Pond Foundation is delighted to hear that the silted-up sedimentation basin at Baxter’s Pond is going to be dredged as it is so sorely needed. We are very grateful to Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton for spearheading this project,” Comer said. “Much of the rainwater runoff in Port Washington flows into this catchment basin, which is supposed to keep sand, silt and debris (like bleach bottles, wayward flip flops and volleyballs) from ending up in Manhasset Bay. The basin’s cleanliness is key not only to the overall health of the pond, but ultimately to the environmental integrity of Manhasset Bay and beyond.”
Originally part of the circa-1741 Oliver Baxter homestead, the five-acre Baxter’s Pond and Barbara Johnson Park and Preserve that skirt the pond and tributary that feeds the Pond are enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.

The dredging project is scheduled for the spring and is expected to take a week or two to complete, depending on weather conditions—the stream needs to be dammed so it can only be done when little or no rain is forecast to avoid the banks of the stream from flooding over.

Visit baxterpond.org for more information about the Pond and Park, and feel free to contact Leg. DeRiggi-Whitton’s office at 516-571-6211 or dderiggiwhitton@nassaucountyny.gov about this or any other topic in District 11.

—Submitted by the office of Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton

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