MOHEGAN LAKE, NY – In response to Westchester County’s Department of Health shuttering Mohegan Beach Park and Mohegan Beach colony due to blue-green algae, Yorktown Supervisor candidate Matt Slater called on New York State’s Water Quality Rapid Response Team to intervene. In a letter to the co-chairs, Slater said both the lake and hamlet need their assistance in combating the harmful algal blooms (HABs) that have consistently closed local beaches in recent years.
“The State’s Water Quality Rapid Response Team was put into place to assist communities like ours that are vulnerable to harmful algal blooms,” Slater explained. “It is time Yorktown puts every option on the table to address the short and long term needs of the Mohegan Lake community.”
Since launching his campaign for Yorktown Supervisor, Slater has been advocating for the need for a Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) to improve the conditions of Mohegan Lake. Serving as Chief of Staff to State Senator Terrence Murphy, Slater helped get Mohegan Lake added to the New York State’s Inland Waterway List in 2018. To date, no additional action has been taken by the Town to maximize the benefits of the designation. In June, state officials added three more local lakes to the same list.
In June of 2018 Governor Cuomo announced the formation of the State’s Water Quality Rapid Response Team and tasked them with devising action plans for 12 identified lakes that are vulnerable to HABs. Mohegan Lake was not included despite a 2016 Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) Report commissioned by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation that concluded Mohegan Lake was impaired and highly susceptible to harmful algal blooms (HABs) and invasive species.
“I have met dozens of Mohegan Lake residents who can’t understand why more isn’t being done about a consistent issue that directly impacts their neighborhoods,” Slater said. “People deserve a lake they can enjoy throughout the summer which will add to the natural beauty and enhance this important part of our town. The Mohegan Lake Improvement District has done a great job to date but there are additional resources available for the town to proactively obtain.”
One of the areas that has closed, Mohegan Beach Park, is actually a park district for the Town of Yorktown. According to town records the park district collected $55,000 in taxes In 2018 while spending $26,484.