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Oct 3, 2011 2:29 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Lake Montauk Dredging Will Begin This Month

Oct 4, 2011 2:19 PM

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hired a contractor last week to dredge the inlet to Lake Montauk, and the project is on track to be done by the end of the year, officials said.

The Army Corps announced last Thursday, September 29, that it awarded a $414,590 contract to North America Landscaping, Construction, and Dredge Company of Ellicott City, Maryland.

The Army Corps reallocated $1.2 million of its budget this spring to pay for the emergency dredging after severe shoaling made it difficult for fishing and U.S. Coast Guard vessels to pass. Some of those funds were used for surveys of inlet conditions.

The dredging contractor will remove approximately 15,000 to 20,000 cubic yards of sediment from the inlet and dump it just west of the west jetty. From there, the spoil can be used to shore up the beach along Soundview Drive and Captain Kidds Path, which has been scoured away by erosion over the years.

“The dredging will greatly improve navigational safety and benefit the various frequent users of this channel, including commercial fishermen, the Coast Guard and recreational boaters,” Army Corps New York District Commander Colonel John R. Boulé said in a press release.

U.S. Representative Tim Bishop, who advocated for the project, said it is expected to begin this month. “Dredging Lake Montauk in 2011 is vital to the jobs in Montauk’s fishing industry as well as the homeland security mission of the Coast Guard,” Mr. Bishop said in a separate press release. “I am pleased we remain on schedule to provide relief not only to the fishermen but also to homeowners whose [properties] will be better protected from erosion.”

Mr. Bishop said he used his position as ranking minority member of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, which oversees the Army Corps, to push for the project, and “appealed directly to the White House to make the case for quick action to alleviate the potentially dangerous situation.”

The inlet was last dredged in 2008 and had been slated for another dredging in 2013.

In February, a group of elected officials, including Mr. Bishop, State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., and East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, boarded Coast Guard vessels and saw the shoaling firsthand.

Last week, the Army Corps also announced that a draft study of potential changes to the maintenance of the inlet could be completed next year. The Lake Montauk Harbor Feasibility Study, a joint effort by the Army Corps and the State Department of Environmental Conservation, will explore whether the inlet should be deepened and whether spoil should be placed farther west to benefit homeowners there.

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For every 1 commercial fishing job there are 7 more back on dry land created.
By Duckbornandraised (184), Eastport on Oct 3, 11 4:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
Great work by Bishop, by Wilkinson and by all involved to get this necessary project started way ahread of schedule.
By tm (174), mtk on Oct 4, 11 9:41 AM