by Kevin Mullaney Member of the Board of Directors Save Our Sodus
I have been a full time resident of Sodus Point for 35 years but have been playing here since the early sixties and I am very familiar with the water quality and climate and how it has changed over the years. Recently, I have noticed how Global Warming is changing the weather and how this weather affects the bay.
It is evident to me that the weather patterns while similar to those of the past are much more extreme in intensity and frequency. I am no weatherman but the pattern seems to be warm low pressure fronts coming from the south conflicting with higher pressure cool air from the north and creating strong winds from the southeast which plummet my residence on the south shore of sand point. Then as the low pressure front is pushed to the east, offshore, the wind shifts to the west or northwest and giant lake waves attack the south shore communities along the lake. This happened recently as the combination of high lake levels and storm waves out of the north caused a breaches in the crescent beaches of Port Bay and Sodus Bay.
Sodus Bay has always been a windy place because the lake just north of it provides little residence to the wind but of late, with Global Warming, the wind has been noticeably stronger no matter which direction it comes from.
What I have noticed lately is that the strong south east winds build waves up to 3 foot in height that deposit black rotting seaweed from the bottom of the bay along the beach at the end of Maiden Lane. This has been going on for at least the last five or so years that I have been paying attention to it. The rotting sea weed is removed from the beach by following westerly winds which move it to the east, toward the channel outlet to the lake, cleaning the beach of the rotting seaweed. Then the process repeats itself. The near shore in front of the beach at Maiden Lane seems to have an inexhaustible supply of rotting sea weed which leads me to believe that the bay sediment is moving north driven by the south east winds and then east by westerly winds.
There is other evidence that rotting seaweed is coming up from the bottom of the bay. It is a fact of chemistry that seaweed sediment has to take oxygen from the water in order to rot. Rotting is an oxidation reduction reaction and when the strong southeast waves are flowing, foam is present on the shore along with the rotting seaweed. This foam is an indication of a lack of oxygen in the water that is plummeting the shore while it should be being oxygenated from the white caps being generated by the strong winds.
This could suggest that the rotten seaweed will eventually wind up in the lake and it has been determined that the near shore of the lake is more polluted than the bay. This fact would tend to support my observations.
Given all this I would conclude that the strong weather patterns which are a product of Global Warming are working to remove polluting sediment from the bay. Then we couple this with efforts of Save Our Sodus and Nature Conservatory to restore the effectiveness of water shed wetlands to filter incoming nitrates and phosphates along with the Wayne County Soil and Conservation Departments campaign to remove seaweed before it can become sediment should work together to help reverse the process deteriorating water quality in the bay.
by Kevin Mullaney
Member of the Board of Directors
Save Our Sodus