Summertime storms always seem to blast through quickly and mightily, and this past Tuesday evening’s was no different. My two sister-in-laws and I were taking a walk on when we realized that the thunderclouds were rolling in over Shinnecock Bay. We high-tailed it out of there to get home without being drenched, but didn’t quite make it back before the storm went wild.
If you were in Hampton Bays around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, you know what I mean. All of a sudden, the violent downpour started and we had to stick it out in the car.
Loads of water dumping down from the skies is so powerful, when it comes all at the same time. While we were hunkered down, I noticed the abundant flow of water twirling around drainage grates and flowing down the sides of the road.
“Where does all that water go?” the girls asked.
As the rains died down and we made our way back to the house, we stopped at the end of Argonne Road East, near the intersection with Canoe Place Road, to take a look at the progression of the storm over the water. There, before us, was a clear indication of where all the rainwater went.
We saw the asphalt road ending, leading downhill to a narrow sandy beach that quickly submerged into the waters of Shinnecock Bay. While the sand is usually level all the way across, we observed that clearly something was different. The rainwater had rushed downhill over the asphalt of Argonne Road East and actually built enough force to cut a riverbed through the sand of the beach!
What was a very interesting study of the power of nature also had me worried about what had been picked up off the road and transported into the bay. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “[Rainwater] picks up dirt and dust, rubber and metal deposits from tire wear, antifreeze and engine oil that has dripped onto the pavement, pesticides and fertilizers, and discarded cups, plastic bags, cigarette butts, pet waste, and other litter.”
Who wants all that in the water where they swim, or in the shellfish they eat?
So, what’s the solution? Group for the East End and local municipalities are actively working to tackle stormwater runoff issues. The Group has collaborated with several community organizations to address road endings like the one in my neighborhood. One project at a time, we can begin to divert road runoff away from our bays. Slowing stormwater down gives it time to seep into the ground and be naturally filtered, reducing the pollution of local waters.
Though I hardly believe you are about to run out and retrofit all the road endings on the East End, !
Visit www.eastendenvironment.org and or click here to download a free copy of our Bayscaping brochure. You’ll find helpful tips on how to reduce chemicals and fertilizers around your home and landscape – these are pollutants that could eventually end up in local bays! You can also click here to download a free copy of Group for the East End’s most recent newsletter – all out how we are protecting the water this summer and throughout the year.
If you like what we’re doing, we invite you to become a member.
Until next time, keep that umbrella handy!