It’s not a pond, it’s a brook, it’s a creek, it’s a dreen! It’s Ligonee.
Ligonee Brook (a.k.a. Ligonee Creek, Long Pond Drain, Long Pond Creek, Alewive Dreen or Drain) flows from the north end of Long Pond into Upper Sag Harbor Cove and forms the southwestern boundary of the corporate limits of the Village of Sag Harbor. If you’re entering Sag Harbor on the Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, you pass over Ligonee just past the Reid Brother’s garage, where a culvert allows the upper stream waters to flow to the Cove.
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation applies two separate classifications to Ligonee’s waters. From the cove to Brick Kiln Road, it’s a class SC, saline surface water. From Brick Kiln to its source at Long Pond, it’s a Class C, fresh surface water. No surprise, since it shares these two distinct marine ecologies, but interesting to note where the change officially occurs.
Ligonee skirts or intersects three of the Long Pond Greenbelt Trails. From Mashashimuet Park in Sag Harbor, you enter the Old Sag Harbor Railroad Spur Trail and come upon the brook in a short distance, where it runs through a culvert under the railroad spur and switches from one side of the path to the other. From Round Pond Trail you also link up with Ligonee where there’s a small bridge over the brook. And Sprig Tree Path will take you to the northern edge of Long Pond, where Ligonee begins.
Though at one time the outlet at Long Pond was blocked, today Ligonee’s flow reflects Long Pond’s water levels and can fluctuate from swift-flowing to mere dribble with changes in rainfall and groundwater levels.
In honor of Ligonee’s historic and well-documented role as alewife and American eel run and to maintain its overall health, FLPG participates in the Seatuck Environmental Association’s annual alewife watch and conducts regular-stream clean-ups.
Going forward, FLPG will keep a close eye on Ligonee and work hard to keep it healthy and productive.