On Long Island, a Worthy Plan for Coastal Flooding

Sept. 12, 2014 by Steve Bellone in The New York Times

To the Editor:Re “A Beach Project Built on Sand,” by Robert S. Young (Op-Ed, Aug. 22) After Hurricane Sandy, the Army Corps of Engineers delineated the devastation on Long Island, saying “the dune and berm system along Fire Island is now depleted,” increasing “the potential for storm damage to shore and particularly back bay communities.”

As our first line of defense, it is important to bolster Fire Island, which hosts more than four million visitors a year and is home to New York’s only federally designated wilderness, with 17 communities of 4,500 houses nestled along its perimeter.

Mr. Young is among those who advocate abandoning the coast and allowing nature to take its course. Coastal engineers disagree with that approach. Suffolk public works officials on Wednesday won a waiver to speed up the hiring of surveyors to do as much as $2.8 million in advance map work needed to acquire damaged homes and rebuild dunes across Fire Island in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

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Piping Plover Lawsuit Stalls Fire Island Dune Rebuilding

by Timothy Bolger on September 15, 2014  www.longislandpress.com
 

Officials are lashing out at an environmental group whose lawsuit stalled a plan to rebuild Sandy-flattened Fire Island dunes after activists argued that the $207-million federally funded project could harm endangered birds.

Judge Sandra Feuerstein granted Friday the Audubon New York’s request for a temporary restraining order in the nonprofit group’s federal lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, two agencies involved in the plan, effectively barring the project’s managers from starting the work—for now.

“They are asserting that habitat protection trumps the safety and security of the residents living in Mastic Beach and other low-lying South Shore communities,” Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), who has been pushing for the project, said in a statement. “This is a position I simply cannot support. I believe the action of Audubon New York in this instance, particularly as the dredging contract was about to be awarded, is indefensible.”

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Piping plover suit prompts judge to suspend Fire Island dune project

September 13, 2014 Newsday

A federal judge Friday suspended Fire Island's federal dune project, granting a temporary restraining order sought by Audubon New York, which claims the plans imperil endangered piping plovers by destroying nesting grounds.

U.S. District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein's order prevents the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from starting work on the project's first two phases -- at Smith Point County Park and Fire Island Lighthouse Beach.

The restraining order does not halt the third phase, which rebuilds dunes aimed at protecting the barrier island's communities, the conservation group said.

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Suffolk Speeds Up Fire Island Survey Work to Restore Dunes

August 27, 2014 by RICK BRAND / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Suffolk public works officials on Wednesday won a waiver to speed up the hiring of surveyors to do as much as $2.8 million in advance map work needed to acquire damaged homes and rebuild dunes across Fire Island in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

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FINS Publishes Draft Deer Management EIS for Public Comment

August 18, 2014 - Patchogue, New York

FINS has published a DRAFT EIS (Environmental Impact Study) for the proposed Deer Management plan for the Fire Island National Seashore. To help understand the contents, here is a summary memo of the “take-home points.” The FINS doc is also attached.
 
The deer management issue is a very important one for all Fire Islanders, and as many residents as possible should review the Draft EIS and submit their comments, either on-line, by mail, or by attending one of the upcoming public hearings:  

Wednesday, August 20, from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal
150 West Avenue Patchogue, New York 11772
 
Friday, August 22 , from  2:00 pm-4:00 pm            
Woodhull School Gymnasium , Ocean Beach, Fire Island, New York

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