The project engineer has advised that during coming months, we can expect some diffusion of the replenished sand to help fill in the east end. In addition, the beach west of Sky will act as a kind of groin in capturing sand to the east. A small beach scraping project will be explored for the fall in an effort to compensate for the east end shortage.
The Pines was one of 11 Fire Island communities participating in an overall replenishment project administered through an inter-municipal agreement between the Towns of Brookhaven and Islip and involving almost 2 million cubic yards of sand. At a total cost of almost $24 million, the share for Pines taxpayers over five years is expected to be approximately $6 million, although we will receive a credit adjustment for the contract shortfall and a further reduction since mobilization costs are being covered by a federal grant from FEMA as a result of the damage to our “managed” beach by the nor’easter of April 2007.
The overall project ran into a variety of mechanical and weather delays compounded by a schedule involving the separate projects for 11 dispersed communities. As a result, the contractor was juggling to complete our project and one in Davis Park simultaneously, moving equipment back and forth almost daily between the two communities. After contacting the Town of Brookhaven, Senator Chuck Schumer’s office, and the Fire Island National Seashore, a short permit extension of a few days for dredging and moving sand was granted but not for driving or moving equipment on the beach due to sightings of the endangered piping plover.
The scope of this 2009 project is comparable to the one completed in 2003 in terms of amount of sand placed on the beach and cost. However, the engineering design of the new project was significantly different with less emphasis on replenishing the dune, except in the relatively few areas where it was eroded. This has resulted in a much wider beach as well as more sand just offshore. The coastal engineers supervising the recent project expect it to have a life expectancy of five to six years. A special feature of the new beach design was the tapering of the dune at the vehicle cut at Coast Guard Walk. This will provide protection to homes on Coast Guard and Seaview, as well as Whyte Hall, since storm surges often brought water down the roadway as far as the community center.
We are indebted to FIPPOA Vice President Jay Pagano for his dedicated and tireless leadership of our Erosion Control District for the past two and a half years. Without Jay’s countless hours of time and attention, we would not have a beautiful, wide beach to enjoy and protect our homes.