CCQ has obtained notice that a public comment period has been opened by the US Army Corps of Engineers regarding the permit application for a dredging project in Quogue.
The Corps is soliciting public comments to consider and evaluate the impacts of the project and has stated that any person may request, in writing, that a public hearing be held to collect information necessary to consider the application.
The comment period expires on August 5th.
If you would like to submit a comment, please do so in writing and address to Naomi Handell, at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 5th. Mailed letters may be sent to:
US Army Corps of Engineers
New York District
Jacob K. Javits Federal Building
New York, NY 10278
Please reference Public Notice Number NAN-2012-00011-EHA.
To read the public notice in its entirety, please click here.
For an in-depth and multi-faceted perspective on the proposed Quogue project (authored by Dr. Robert S. Young, Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines), please click here.
On February 25th, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation sent a letterto First Coastal Corporation of Westhampton Beach, regarding its permit application for a beach nourishment project in Quogue. Initiated by the Save the Dunes and Beaches Foundation and on behalf of the Village of Quogue, the project would pump and dump 1.1 million cubic yards of sand along the entire ocean frontage of Quogue, at an approximate initial cost of $14 million. The cost is proposed to be borne by the taxpayers of Quogue through increases in property taxes.
In its letter, the DEC requested that First Coastal, acting as the Village’s agent, address a list of project-specific concerns that the DEC received from a large number of concerned residents across the region—many of us included. First Coastal’s responses to these comments will be critical in determining whether a public hearing will be required for the application to progress, and what topics will be discussed at such a hearing.
CCQ would like to share a copy of the DEC’s letter and summary of the public’s concerns, so that our supporters can remain informed and focused on the latest developments on this important issue.
In November 2011, the Village of Quogue (assisted by First Coastal Corp.) submitted an application for a permit to dredge offshore the Quogue Beach. At an estimated cost of $15 million dollars, the project would pump and dump 1.1 million cubic yards of sand along the entire 2.7 miles of Quogue Beach.
That permit application is now complete and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has begun a 30 day “Public Comment Period” ending November 29—representing what could be the only opportunity for concerned citizens to have a voice in whether the project is approved. The CCQ urgesanyone concerned with the health of our beaches to communicate—in writing via email or letter—opinions regarding the necessity and ramifications of a project of this magnitude, and to implore the DEC to deny the permit.
Please consider the following:
Federal Funds are not available to Quogue for this project, leaving the related tax and debt burden entirely on the community
Most of Quogue’s beach is in very good shape (see photo below), as recently observed by noted coastal geologist Dr. Rob Young. Conclusion: we don’t need “beach nourishment”
Dredged sand can be washed away in a single storm, with the related debt still to be repaid
Dredging is temporary and requires additional maintenance projects to be repeated over time at additional cost (example: West Hampton Dunes)
Dredging can have a detrimental effect on the coastal ecosystem; the assumption that it doesn’t is dangerously misguided
Sand is a finite resource and should be reserved for when it is truly necessary. The proposed project will dredge a 100 acre trench 7 feet deep, from only a mile offshore.
For an excellent recent opinion of beach nourishment authored by Dr. Young, please consider this brief read in Yale Environment 360 and the following excerpt:
“Some try to put green lipstick on these dredge-and-fill projects by calling them beach restoration. But let’s be clear: Rebuilding beaches and dunes in front of buildings is not restoration; it is engineering. The beaches and dunes are not designed to maximize their effectiveness as ecosystems. They are designed for storm protection. …
Beach replenishment… is an effort to fight that natural trajectory by simply pumping sand onto a shoreline that is changing due to natural erosion or rising sea levels. Rebuilding beaches and dunes may be a ‘soft solution,’ as it is often described, but it is not restoration, nor is it environmentally benign.”
If you are opposed to this project, PLEASE WRITE to the DEC and express your views. Time is of the essence. Emails or letters must be received by November 29th.
Please include your physical address and reference the application ID: NYDEC 1-4736-01875