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Community Invited to Speak Out on Proposed Shortening of Groins at Westhampton Beach on Oct 12

Posted on October 11, 2016

By Lisa Finn, Westhampton

Residents with questions about the Army Corps of Engineer’s draft reevaluation report regarding the Fire Island to Montauk Point Reformulation Study have a chance to speak out.

On October 12 at 7 p.m., the Westhampton Free Library and the Citizen’s Advisory Committee-West are teaming up to host an informational discussion regarding the report.

One component of the plan, which has sparked some public debate, is the proposed reduction in length of groins in Westhampton Beach.

The public comment period has been extended until October 19, to provide residents an additional opportunity for feedback.

Public comments on the Fire Island to Montauk Point (FIMP) project should be submitted to: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District Planning Division-Environmental Branch, Attention: Mr. Robert Smith, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, New York 10278-0090 Public comments can also be submitted by e-mail to: Project Biologist and Project Manager

Comments provided will become part of the public record for the environmental impact statement. Comments submitted will be fully considered during the preparation of the final EIS.

All written comments, including names and address, will be made a part of the administrative record, available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. The administrative record, or portions thereof, may also be posted on a Corps of Engineers website; the acknowledgement of the receipt of comments or responses to individual letters and comments will not be provided but will be included and addressed in the final EIS, according to a release.

Recently, also on the South Fork, East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell spoke out about the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point draft general reevaluation report and how it will affect the downtown Montauk community at a public hearing, one of four scheduled on Long Island to discuss the next phase of the Fire Island to Montauk Point Project, a $1.16 billion project that contains funding for essential dredging and shoreline projects across the 1st congressional district.

According to Cantwell, East Hampton Town has completed a Downtown Montauk Beach Restoration and Flood Damage Prevention Report in response to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ FIMP plan.

“The Army Corps’ report currently calls for only a sediment management plan to place 120,000 cubic yards

of sand once every four years along 3,300 feet of downtown Montauk shoreline,” Cantwell said. “This is insufficient.”

The supervisor said an analysis of the engineering and economic considerations contained in the Army Corps’ report indicates “sufficient benefits to justify the expansion of the FIMP plans for Downtown Montauk.”

Prepared by First Coastal, East Hampton Town’s report recommends the expansion of the project to a “full-scale beach nourishment project,” Cantwell said.

The goal would be to move forward with an initial placement of 759,000 cubic yards of sand that would be distributed over a longer area of 6,000 linear feet of shoreline and add an additional 414,000 cubic yards every four years, Cantwell said.

Congressman Lee Zeldin sent a letter recently to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commander Colonel David Caldwell, formally requesting a two week extension of the deadline for public comments.

“Since first taking office, I have been fighting to secure the many victories coming to NY-1 as a result of the draft GRR. The FIMP project, which covers a distance of 83 miles, 80 percent of which is in the First Congressional District, has been a long time coming and will greatly improve our environment, economy and coastal way of life on Long Island’s South Shore,” Zeldin said.

He added that he encouraged South Shore residents to get involved in the process and participate in the public comment period to ensure that their voices are heard and requests received.

“The Army Corps needs and wants to hear from the public. It is so important that every member of the public has their opportunity to weigh in on this process before the comment period ends and the final project is planned.”

On August 18, Zeldin was joined by local elected officials and community leaders at Westhampton Beach Village Hall to discuss many of the key components of the Draft General Reevaluation Report, or GRR, which was released in July and specifies which projects will be included in the next phase of the FIMP Project.

Source: Westhampton

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