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Jun 19, 2013 9:22 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Massive Beach Reconstruction To Begin In Early September

Jun 19, 2013 10:42 AM
The State Department of Environmental Conservation and several federal agencies have given their stamp of approval to plans for a massive rebuilding of beaches in eastern Southampton Town.

The project will mobilize as soon as the summer crowds are gone the week after Labor Day.

The DEC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which coordinated approvals from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service and other federal agencies, gave the project the go-ahead to begin as early as September 1, as long as special measures are taken to protect against harming endangered sea turtles and sturgeon that migrate through the area in the early fall.

The consultants planning the project, Aram Terchunian of the Westhampton Beach environmental firm First Coastal and Tim Cana of the North Carolina-based company Coastal Science & Engineering, which is overseeing the work, said that bidding for the project, which was opened by Southampton Town last week, will put the start date for the work into the first week of September. The project is expected to take three to four months to complete if the autumn weather cooperates.

The September start is expected to reduce the cost of the work, because more dredges will be available, since most such projects around the country are restricted by environmental regulations from ocean dredging until later in the fall. In the Northeast, protections for sea turtles and sturgeons typically prohibit large-scale dredging work until after November 15, but the restriction can be lifted if dredges are fitted with protective devices and follow strict operating protocols to protect against unintended harm to marine life. Mr. Terchunian said the dredges will be fitted with a turtle-exclusion device, similar to a cow catcher on a train locomotive, and will be required to be in contact with the bottom whenever they are operating to avoid sucking in marine species.

“Interaction with sea turtles is exceedingly rare,” Mr. Terchunian said. He noted that work on the rebuilding of beaches in West Hampton Dunes in the 1990s also was done within typically restricted dates by taking similar measures to ensure the work did not interfere with wildlife.

The project plans call for approximately 2.5 million tons of sand to be sucked from natural stockpiles a mile offshore and pumped ashore along a six-mile stretch of beach between Flying Point in Water Mill and the Southampton Town boundary with East Hampton.

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Has a budget and source of funding been made public? 1.5 million tons of sand is called for. Is the $25 million already approved a guaranteed cap, and is the contractor bound by contract to this cap?

Are all the contracts signed already and are public documents?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jun 19, 13 2:48 PM
Correction 2.5 million tons.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jun 19, 13 2:49 PM
I told you so (immature - I know). From Michael Wright back on Feb. 4, 2013:

"As will be explained further in this week's story, Nature, the town and project organizers have told me they are hoping they will be able to get waivers from the seasonal dredging and beach work restrictions. If you'll recall, the WHD project back in 1995 was done in summer. They can get around the various restrictions by either proving that there will not be a conflict or by accommodating for it. For example, ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 19, 13 3:48 PM
IF and this is a big IF this project goes forward as discussed here, it will destroy the inshore fishing this fall, both for the commercial and recreational fishermen. All it will take to negate all the time and money spent will be a single deent nor'easter, what a flippin waste! Let nature take it's course and use the money to give our military personnel a raise!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jun 19, 13 5:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
Money talks... Nature walks
By Soundview (89), Hampton bays on Jun 20, 13 1:43 PM
Rebuild beaches? Didn't realize they had been demolished. Most of the Sandy losses will be back by mid July
Terchoonian cashing in again selling nothing but BS
By smacw (240), New York on Jun 21, 13 7:59 PM