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Jun 4, 2013 5:20 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Montauk And Hampton Bays Beaches Will Be Rebuilt With Federal Funds

Jun 4, 2013 5:37 PM

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct an extensive rebuilding of the ocean beaches near downtown Montauk, paid for entirely by the federal government with Hurricane Sandy recovery aid, according to U.S. Representative Tim Bishop.

Congress this week approved $700 million in funding for the rebuilding of beaches and other protections for communities along the entire south shore of Long Island—and Mr. Bishop said that a beach nourishment project in Montauk will be among the work the Army Corps will tackle in the coming years.

“Montauk is a specific project for which funding will be allocated, first for design and planning, and second for the beach nourishment work itself,” he said on Tuesday, shortly after announcing that the funding for the Fire Island to Montauk Point Reformulation Study, or FIMPS, had been fully allocated by Congress. “It’s a victory for the South Fork. All of this work will go forward at 100-percent federal cost share.”

The East Hampton Town Board applauded the announcement and the work of Mr. Bishop, a Democrat from Southampton, and Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson for their aggressive efforts to get the Montauk beaches onto the Army Corps’s to-do list.

“Three cheers for Tim Bishop and Bill Wilkinson for the incredible effort they put in,” Councilwoman Theresa Quigley said at Tuesday’s Town Board work session.

When the FIMPS project was initially presented in 2011, it contained a mention of a possible small-scale sand replenishment project in Montauk. That work, however, had been a low priority for the federal engineers who were working on the project.

After Sandy, Mr. Wilkinson and Mr. Bishop put pressure on the Army Corps and other federal officials to revisit the issue and placed additional emphasis on the importance of rebuilding the beaches that separate the ocean from the hamlet’s business district.

“This is the first time Montauk has gotten the attention it deserves,” Mr. Wilkinson, a Montauk resident, said. “It may be a little late, but it’s progress.”

Mr. Bishop said in recent months that getting a Montauk beach nourishment project added to the FIMPS work plan was a top priority.

The Town Board also began talking about their own beach nourishment effort, on an albeit smaller scale to address some of the lingering effects of Sandy. Mr. Wilkinson said the town is in discussions to have more than 10,000 tons of sand trucked in and spread at Ditch Plains, the popular swimming and surfing spot, so that it may be used this summer.

The supervisor said he has been told that Ditch Plains would be a part of the scope of the federally funded project. But with that work likely at least 18 months to two years down the road, he said the town needs to take action now to keep the beach open this summer.

“We need to do something, whatever we can, just so people can get some blankets down there,” Mr. Wilkinson said. “Thus far, it’s not coming back the way we had hoped it would.”

He said that trucking in the sand would cost in the neighborhood of $300,000, and that the town could tap into a $700,000 bond it took out to make repairs to town facilities damaged by Sandy.

In addition to Montauk project, the full funding of the study projects ensures that beaches in Hampton Bays, East Quogue and West Hampton Dunes Village will also be rebuilt with federal money.

Mr. Bishop said the $700 million already alloted for the work recommended in the FIMPS study will likely not cover all of the design and implementation costs of every beach reconstruction project now planned. He added that more money from the $5.3 billion appropriated for the Army Corps from the $60 billion Sandy aid bill will be alloted to future reconstruction work.

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Thank you Rep. Bishop. Well done!
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Jun 4, 13 7:57 PM
Any politician would do that. Its not their money its money made from thin air.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 4, 13 8:04 PM
"Local Boys Repel Yankee Horde"
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jun 4, 13 8:19 PM
Great News!
By Summer Resident (251), Southampton N.Y. on Jun 4, 13 9:17 PM
Thanks Mr.Bishop and Mr.Wilkinson. Let us hope that mother nature cooperates as well.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Jun 4, 13 9:26 PM
I have interest in East Hampton and Southampton land, and I must admit that East Hampton was never in the federal beach restoration game until Wilkinson came along. In spite of things I have read it seems Wilkinson was the one town politician who was able to work across party lines for the benefit of his town. I read editorials in a couple of papers about Wilkinson not being a successful supervisor and I don't get it. He saves the towns finances which was the major goal of him being elected, taxes ...more
By mrmako61 (148), southampton on Jun 4, 13 10:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
The help is great but it is not dispursed evenly. Why not say that the beaches that need it from WHD to Montauk will get rebuilt.Westhampton Dunes has an agreement in place to be rebuilt for the next 10-15 years so this annoucement is meaningless. THere are areas in Saouthampton Village, Water Mill, Bridgehampton and Sagaponack that were washed through during Sandy and need help also. Who is going to help with that?
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Jun 5, 13 6:26 AM
$700 million to dump sand in the ocean...take that, sequester!

and $300,000 for 10,000 tons equals $300,000/10,000/2,000 or 1.5 cents per pound of sand, delivered. Seems cheap.
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Jun 5, 13 11:48 AM
dfree - you're right that does seem cheap. A cubic yard of sand generally costs $14 I believe. Not sure how many pounds are in a cubic yard...
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 5, 13 12:45 PM
so 3,000 pounds divided by $14. that works out to less than 1/2 cent per pound. hmmm...i wonder who got that $300,000 contract...
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Jun 5, 13 3:40 PM
ive always heard its the SH Trustees selling sand mostly from FLying Point beach ... heard it form long time SH locals so ive always considered it probly accurate
By david h (405), southampton on Jun 11, 13 3:21 PM
They do sell sand when it's available - but there's only a few times a year when it is. A lot of projects get sand from the local sand mines
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 11, 13 3:38 PM
Nature, aside from the near-term Ditch Plains replenishment, estimated by Mr. Wilkinson to require 10,000 tons of trucked-in sand, would you assume that the balance of the replenishment (to be designed by the Corps and done in 1-2 years) will require dredged material, similar to the WHB jetty work in the 60's?

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jun 11, 13 4:35 PM
The devil will be in the details of this Band Aid short-term fix, AND in the longer term "solutions" (which is in quotes because to "save" Long Island from Mother Nature's vast power to reclaim the sand deposited by the glaciers will require more money that is available IMO).

The Press's editorial of a month or two ago rejected the option of hardening the entire South Shore of Long Island.

What is the long-term plan, then?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jun 5, 13 2:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
PS -- Don't forget that the Corps designed and built all the jetties from Moriches Inlet to East Hampton.

How did those work out in stopping beach scouring and erosion?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jun 5, 13 2:55 PM
Once again, as he has so many times, Tim Bishop delivers the goods. Hard to have a problem with this guy, and yet, some still do. Makes me think the problem is not with the Congressman, but with them.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Jun 7, 13 11:27 AM