Dredging of Fire Island Inlet

Although the beaches have not opened yet, there has been a lot of activity along the barrier island beaches this Winter.

Dredging crews have been hard at work in the Fire Island Inlet.  Their offshore dredging boats connect to long, flexible pipes onto the beach and empty sediment on the shoreline of Overlook Beach.  Large dump trucks then transport the sediment to local area beaches from West Gilgo and eastward alongside the heavily eroded shorelines of the barrier beaches and ocean parkway.

As the massive project continues, signs of future dune conservation efforts can be seen in the massive stores of dune fence waiting to be used to help hold the sand in place.

Turtle Path thru the Dunes

NYDOT Leaves Gaps in New Beach Fence for Turtles

The repaired dune systems along Ocean Parkway are now lined with beach fence gaps to allow nesting turtles access to the surrounding ecosystem.

The Diamondback Terrapin, is one of the few marine turtles that is known to live most of its life in the brackish marsh waters along Ocean Parkway.  When the turtles are ready to lay eggs, they generally prefer to use the beach sand.

The Diamondback Terrapin can be found along the eastern coast of the United States from Cape Cod down to Florida but has faced increasing threats due to habitat destruction and climate change.

Local Reps meet with Gov Cuomo

Governor Cuomo Begins Work with Local Beach Representatives
to use State & Federal Disaster Aid with New York Rising Program

Local beach representatives recently began participating in the first stages of the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program presented by Governor Cuomo’s office in an effort to begin using Federal Disaster Aid in Community Reconstruction Zones.  The program is referred to as a “bottom-up, community driven initiative that will empower localities that were severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy…” said New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in a press release published on July 18, 2013.

The NY region that is eligible for more than 750 million dollars consists of 102 communities in total from the Long Island, NYC, and Upstate New York area.  Captree Island, Oak Beach, Oak Isles Beach Association, Oak Island, Gilgo Beach, and West Gilgo Beach will combine to represent one community reconstruction zone.

Over the next eight months, members of each zone, along with State and Federal agencies and planning consultants, will begin to formulate a plan to rebuild and protect community assets.  After the eight-month planning period, the project will move into the funding and implementation phases.

James Schappert of Oak Beach will serve as co-chair of the beach community reconstruction zone.  Additional Committee members are Dorian Dale, Cindy Dale, and Tom Cassidy of West Gilgo Beach, Mark Nuccio of Oak Island, Arnie Lanzillata of the Oak Isles Beach Association, Jed Meade of Oak Beach, and Paul McDuffy of Gilgo Beach.  Cameron Engineering and Jacobs, a planning firm, will be working with our representatives.

Additional information can be found at:
http://nysandyhelp.ny.gov/community-reconstruction-program

Some one has to care…

Babylon Students Clean Earth Day

On Saturday, April 20th, chilling offshore winds did not deter volunteers
from the Babylon Jr-Sr High School from helping to clean up the beaches along the
Sore Thumb Cove and the Fire Island Inlet.

This energetic crew hiked from Oak Beach into the Cove to pick up small debris that had been collecting in the sands along the Sandy-damaged dunes.  In total, the student volunteers collected a dozen garbage bags filled with small debris such as quarter-sized bottle caps, broken glass, shredded plastic bags, plastic utensils, etc.

Save the Beaches volunteer, Mary Beth Schappert states “It is so important that we begin to realize that every piece of litter counts…the small stuff is a danger to the migratory birds that arrive each spring.  The small plastics are also showing up in the stomachs of our local fish.

Some one has to care.

It is so nice to see that our younger local generations see the same issues too.  We want them to come back to our beaches after college and be able to appreciate and enjoy just what we had when we were their age.”

Thanks to their dedicated advisors, Jeff Kenney and Beth Quinn, these college-bound seniors got a lesson about our local beach ecology too.  They really got to see a part of the beach that most people do not have access to.

They got to see which plants held the dunes together the best,  how hurricane Sandy re-shaped the coastline, and observed a variety of birds nesting on small sandy islands amidst the breached secondary dunes along the Sore Thumb and Fire Island Inlet.