The Quogue shoreline has been transformed since the October storm and the Jonas storm on January 23rd. These storms have decimated areas on the western end of the beach, in areas where a hopper dredge has been removing sand and transporting it to Fire Island since last spring.
The coincidence of these factors inspire a few questions. Among them…
- Why would a dredge remove sand so close to shore?
- Is it because it is cheaper and easier?
- Can these “borrow” sites replenish themselves in as short a period of time as some stipulate?
Conspicuously, the areas that have suffered the latest erosion are those westward of the dredge. The west end is now jagged, with cliffs ten feet high and severely eroded.
Ironically, the US Army Corps of Engineers’ own research has long recognized that “hot spot” erosion can be caused by offshore borrow sites that are poorly designed and located too close to the beach. Click here to access the report.
Decide for yourself if the unintended consequences of dredging seem worth the risk.
Above: A possible combination of nearshore dredging and storm tides during winter storm Jonas have cut away at Quogue’s western dunes and exposed old beach access stairways that had been buried for the last 30 years.