Owego Pond Restoration Raises Flooding Concerns

By Gabe Osterhout

July 22, 2010 Updated Jul 16, 2007 at 11:48 PM EDT

Brick Pond is home to several different animals and plants.

Now, the Waterman Nature Center is teaming up with state and federal agencies to bring the pond up to federal wetland standards.

"We're trying to diversify and show maximum diversity for fish and wildlife in the wetland and that's one of the main functions of a wetland is to provide fish and wildlife habitat," says Carl Schwartz of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Plans include digging two large potholes to fill with water and provide an environment for fish.

And, a large Earthern berm in the center, with a device that controls the pond's water levels.

But, some say it's too little, too late to save the animals that already call it home.

"In my view, it doesn't do anything to solve the current crisis which is the remaining wildlife species that are down there. The plan isn't going to happen fast enough," says Wendy Post of Owego.

Overall, the concern turned to flooding, and if the restoration plans could contribute.

Many believe Brick Pond was the reason East Front Street flooded last June.

Waters rose more than 10 feet above the level of the pond.

But designers say the pond wasn't to blame.

"We can't prevent flooding any more than we can prevent rain. We're going to have the water lower than what it was so it can absorb a little bit more, but it can't absorb a lot more," says Schwartz.

People concerned about the animals, and flooding agree.

And, hope something is done to restore Brick Pond and the surrounding area.

The project is expected to cost between 20 and 25 thousand dollars.

Work is expected to begin sometime this September.

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