The Mohegan Lake Improvement District was established in 1975, by joint action of the Town Boards of Yorktown and Cortlandt. Located in Northern Westchester County, New York, MLID manages 105-acre Lake Mohegan. The Lake District is roughly delineated to include all properties having lake rights to this private lake; it comprises roughly 1,500 households in Yorktown and Cortlandt.
The MLID was formed in response to the announcement in the 1970s of a planned multi-family development to be served by large septic tanks. Residents fearing that such an arrangement would be detrimental to the water quality of Lake Mohegan responded with legal action, hiring biologists Dr. Raul Cardenas and Richard Knabelhe to build a case against the town. They won out, and the town was ordered to bring sewers to the area before allowing such dense development.
After their years of hard work and countless fundraisers to continue to lobby on behalf of Lake Mohegan, residents realized they needed a more lasting organization to collect money and oversee the lake. They petitioned the Towns of Yorktown and Cortlandt, which swiftly approved the creation of the Mohegan Lake Improvement District under Article 12 of the Town Law of the State of New York.
Our lake was formed in the last great ice age, but since 1900, it has experienced cultural eutrophication—an acceleration of excess algal growth due to human activity. The lake has become increasingly prone to algae blooms, and local residents used copper sulfate to address this problem for many years. In 2015 copper sulfate treatments were resumed, and that year was a very successful in terms of water quality and the number of residents taking advantage of the lake for swimming, boating, fishing, paddleboarding, and just enjoying the spectacular view. Lakes are part of a complex system, however, and we are continually striving to make the lake optimal for resident use through a combination of methods.
The Mohegan Lake Improvement District is a resident-run organization. We meet once a month, and all residents are welcome to join the discussion. Without the diligent efforts of concerned residents, our lake will not be clear enough to swim in or boat on.