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Oct 4, 2013 11:21 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Landmark Beach Rebuilding Project Begins In Bridgehampton

Oct 9, 2013 10:04 AM

The 300-foot floating dredge barge “Illinois,” will begin pumping sand onto the beaches of Bridgehampton on Thursday morning, the start of what is to be one of the largest beach nourishment projects ever undertaken on the South Fork and the first to be funded almost entirely privately by oceanfront homeowners.

Over the next three months, the Illinois will pump more than 3 million tons of sand onto the shoreline along 6 miles of beach in Water Mill, Bridgehampton and Sagaponack, doubling the width of the dry beach, providing sand that will help natural dunes rebuild and creating a more gradual slope below the surface of the water to dampen the erosive effects of storm-driven waves.

The first phase of the project starts this week, after four weeks of delays while the Illinois completed a similar project at Coney Island and then four days lost to rough seas this week. When the operation gets underway, a slurry of sea water and sand scoured from so-called “borrow areas” on the ocean floor a mile offshore will be pumped ashore. It will be deposited into the near-shore littoral zone starting near Mecox Beach and slowly moving west to Flying Point, the western end of the project reach, over the next two weeks.

From there, the pumping operation, conducted by crews from Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, will move gradually eastward, concluding at the Southampton-East Hampton Town line sometime before the new year.

The spot where the sand is pumped ashore will be moved two times as the Illinois hops between the three designated borrow areas, each about 1 mile offshore.

The Illinois employs a cutter-head dredge at the end of its steel boom, a giant drill-like implement that grinds into the ocean floor and vacuums up the sand it cuts loose, thrusting it through a partially floating and partially submerged pipeline to the landing point on the shoreline.

Each borrow area will be excavated down 7 feet, the depth where the sand vacuumed up is of the same coarse grade as along the shoreline and is not mixed with mud or organic material from the seabed. The three borrow areas total about 1,200 acres, or 1.8 square-miles, of ocean bottom.

Equipment for the shoreline operations will be staged at Scott Cameron Beach and Mecox Beach for the next several weeks. Town officials said that they will keep the beach parking areas accessible to the public as much as possible but that it may be necessary to close off one of the lots at times when a high volume of equipment is onsite. Town Parks and Recreation Superintendent Chris Bean told officials from the dredging company that the town has not had problems in the past with public access near dredging projects.

“We’ve done this several times at Pikes [Beach in Westhampton] over the last few years and it’s never been a problem,” Mr. Bean said in a meeting of town officials and project managers at Town Hall on Tuesday morning. “People that are going to the beach this time of year are pretty savvy, they know what to stay away from and where it’s okay to go.”

Once sand pumping is underway, there will be a 1,000-foot wide zone that is off-limits on either side of the pumping machines. Where possible, project manager Jared LeFranc said on Tuesday, a public access corridor will be kept open along the inland edge of the beaches. In most areas, he guessed, the beach is wide enough that there will be a broad section between the dunes and where the equipment is working.

“The active work area will be the only place the beach is closed,” Mr. LeFranc said.

The dredge will work 24-hours a day, seven days a week, as long as weather permits. Dredging will have to be halted is seas in the borrow areas reach 5 feet in height, as they did early this week. If seas reach 8 feet, the dredge will have to leave the borrow area and return to the shelter of Shinnecock Bay, primarily because crews will not be able to reach the barge through Shinnecock Inlet. If a very strong storm, on the magnitude of a hurricane, were to approach the area, the Illinois would be taken around Montauk Point into Gardiners Bay.

The project’s official end date is January 15, but the dredging itself is to be concluded by December 31, according to the contract with Great Lakes, unless there are severe, extended weather delays.

The Great Lakes bid between $19.1 million and $19.4 million for the 2.1 million-cubic-yard project minimum, or $7.65 per cubic yard. With mobilization and project design costs, the total cost is to be about $26 million.

The town, which owns five properties in the project area, will contribute $1.5 million from park district fees to the cost of the work. The rest will be borrowed by the town and repaid over the next 10 years with taxes levied on the 122 oceanfront property owners within the project area. Those homeowners gave broad approval to the project, and the tax levy, in a referendum last February.

It was the homeowners themselves who spurred the project, after creating the two special Beach Erosion Control Districts that allow the town to tax them for the beach rebuilding work. The nourishment effort is being watched closely in other communities where chronic beach erosion has threatened oceanfront homes with destruction during severe storms. Homeowners in Quogue, Wainscott and West Hampton Dunes have discussed the possibility of forming their own such erosion control districts to fund future beach nourishment projects.

The project is the second largest beach nourishment ever undertaken on the South Fork, after the gargantuan reconstruction of the barrier beach in what is now West Hampton Dunes in 1995. Since that time, there have been numerous smaller nourishment projects in West Hampton Dunes, East Quogue and Hampton Bays to bolster beaches.

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Just takes one storm to wash it all away!
By capt. Jack (17), Southampton on Oct 4, 13 11:26 AM
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Just in time to screw up the fishing season!
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Oct 4, 13 2:18 PM
2 members liked this comment
From the bay?! That's the most important ecosystem we have, I would imagine that would seriously disturb the community of sea life that we depend on for food and financial security. Why would we ever pay someone from somewhere else to come damage our livelihood? What's under the water is way more important than the beach, I am not letting this happen.
By LegsArmstrong (16), Amagansett on Oct 6, 13 9:55 AM
Read the article again - the dredge is being harbored in Shinnecock bay. The site where the material will be pumped from is a mile offshore. This is standard operating procedure.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 6, 13 2:33 PM
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Thank you, I did miss that part about the dredge being moved from the bay to the ocean. I appreciate your constructive comments. I am not a dredging expert, I'm an ecologist, and when I imagine dredging anything in our delicate waters it gives me chills. I trust that they will choose an offshore spot with little ocean-floor biological activity.
By LegsArmstrong (16), Amagansett on Oct 7, 13 9:45 AM
They choose the ocean floor spot based on the quality of the sand. It has to do mostly with size/color because it should match what exists not only for aesthetics but for durability (grains that are too small are more prone to movement by wind, grains that are too big don't stick together on the beach well). There is little life on the ocean floor that isn't readily mobile so it's not of great concern. Then agian, all things are relative
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 7, 13 10:34 AM
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@LegsArmstrong~ you state "I am not letting this happen". may I suggest you float yourself out in the ocean on a big old tire tube (sitting butt in the hole) with a banner that says "GREEN PEACE" and plop yourself in front of the dredge...worth a try ;)
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Oct 8, 13 12:16 AM
Can't they take sand from another beach instead of underwater? The ocean naturally moves sand from beach to beach, from montauk to fire island. I understand it's more expensive to move sand from fire island to montauk, but if it avoids disturbing the underwater community, it is certainly worth the extra cost.
By LegsArmstrong (16), Amagansett on Oct 6, 13 10:24 AM
no, they can't. The alternative you have proposed is moronic.

One does not simply drive into Sagaponack with 2 million cubic yards of sand.
By user.name (46), the jungle on Oct 6, 13 10:49 AM
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Oh my!! we certainly wouldn't want to disturb SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star, Mr. Krabs, Squidward, Sandy Cheeks, Plankton, Gary and the rest of the underwater community of Bikin Bottom :O
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Oct 6, 13 11:35 PM
Excuse me? Do you understand the whole system of life that supports us? It all starts in the bays. I don't care if people want beaches, what's more important to our future is what is under the water, not next to it. I can't believe how disconnected people are from their ecology.
By LegsArmstrong (16), Amagansett on Oct 7, 13 9:39 AM
@LegsArmstrong~yes i do understand the eco-system of a sandy ocean bottom. no seaweed nor eel grass grows on it. possibly a few sea clams. some fish such as fluke, striped bass, skate and sea bass swim near or on the ocean bottom. No harm or devestating enviormental impact will be caused. However, there will be a huge benefit. By creating a hole or large depression on an otherwise FLAT ocean bottom in the area where they will suck/dredge sand from, they will in turn create a type of reef, sort ...more
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Oct 8, 13 12:02 AM
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Sandy deposited an enormous amount of sand into the Shinnecock Bay. Have you noticed all the sand bars at low tide?
By auntof9 (159), Southampton on Oct 6, 13 11:34 AM
There are always sand bars at low tide in Shinnecock Bay (and most bays for that matter).
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 6, 13 2:33 PM
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The scale of the work being done by the Corps post-Sandy is incredible.


By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 6, 13 2:51 PM
with the town making cuts to depatment budgets, why did they contribute $1.5 million towards the project? They could have taxed out the whole cost to the Sagg village and water mill residents...SMH :/
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Oct 6, 13 11:40 PM
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The November Ejection is coming up.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 7, 13 6:21 AM
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They used funds from Parks & Rec and their justification is that they were depositing sand to Town owned parcels. So, if you are going to charge everyone on a beach frontage percentage, you need to cover your own costs. That being said, I think it was fiscally irresponsible, but I understand why they did it. If they had snowballed the cost into the rest of the homes, there was a chance it would not have passed the vote.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 7, 13 9:09 AM
was that a deliberate typo? "EJECTION" lol :D
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Oct 7, 13 11:42 PM
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***** NOTA *****

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 8, 13 6:56 AM
PBR - you say "none of the above" and are excited about the "ejections". But I'm interested, who ya gunna vote for on the Supervisor line? ATH is "one of the above", but then again so is Kabot who has lost two elections for the Supervisor and who certainly failed the Town in many facets. This must be quite the pickle for you.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 8, 13 9:27 AM

***** NOTA *****

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 9, 13 6:09 AM
how constructive of you
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 9, 13 9:13 AM
And typically condescending of you!

If you don't see a NOTA vote as constructive, that may be YOUR problem [Brewster's Millions iss the movie reference BTW.]

Check Wikipedia for Hat's D-K effect? Your blinders are getting worse IMO.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 9, 13 11:21 AM
your original NOTA was constructive - I posed a query and your response was useless (IMO). What's wrong with trying to drum up a little conversation amongst friends on a thread about who is running for supervisor? Or is it you simply don't want to disclose who you are voting for? (nothing wrong with that... but it wouldn't hurt to share your feelings). You don't explain who "the above" is, so I'm left to guess.

What blinders do I have on? And not for nothing, but I never once have trumped ...more
Oct 9, 13 11:32 AM appended by Nature
Silly me - this is not an article about the "ejections". Regardless, it's relevant.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 9, 13 11:32 AM
OK Nature, you asked . . .

My response was only "useless" in your eyes because you did not take the time to grasp the possibility of a write-in ballot, with "None of the Above" entered (or "NOTA" for that matter)?


Also, an 11-minute time delay to reply without thinking too hard it would seem. (" . . . read slowly . . . thorough comprehension . . . edit more critically . . . etc." -- ring a bell?)

Do you now see that the second "NOTA" was exactly responsive ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 9, 13 3:49 PM
PS -- A viewing of Brewster's Millions might be a good Rx right here, too.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 9, 13 3:51 PM
A lot of work that you're apparently willing to put in. I was inquiring to you as to who you are interested in voting for. Your response of "NOTA" was dismissive at best. Ever think I wasn't being confrontational and trying to spark conversation
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 9, 13 4:01 PM
You still don't get it!

I am interested in voting for "None of the Above."

This is as simple an answer as you will ever get, and still you seem unable to process it!

What is not clear about this?

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 9, 13 5:09 PM
Perhaps you'll be writing in HHS for Supervisor....? It is refreshing to see NOTA replace IMO though... shows you're evolving
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 10, 13 9:21 AM
Condescending as ever, without acknowledging your own shortcomings, and failure to understand the simple answer to your question, which answer I had to keep spoon-feeding you.

And you still don't get it!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 10, 13 11:14 AM
Article updated.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Oct 9, 13 11:13 AM
how quickly comments digress from the subget. the Ocean will do what the Ocean always does. cannot fool with mother nature. Sagg Beach has lost several yards in the past few days due to the E/NE winds and even more on high tides (I walk the beach every AM around 8 so I am familiar with the coming and goings of the beach) last few days lot's of beach not there. I cannot believe that millions of dollars will be spent to create a "false" beach which will no doubt be lost maybe not this year if ...more
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Oct 10, 13 7:00 PM
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