Say “No!” to Dredging by November 29th!

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 urges anyone 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

Email George Hammarth at gwhammar@gw.dec.state.ny.us

Or write to him:

Mr. George Hammarth, NYSDEC SUNY@ Stony Brook, 50 Circle Road, Stony Brook, New York 11790-3490

Taken August 29th, 2013, this photo captures just how healthy the vast majority of our beaches in Quogue actually are.
Taken August 29th, 2013, a few steps away from the Surf Club, this photo captures just how healthy the vast majority of our Quogue beach actually is.

Grossman Summarizes Dr. Young’s Presentation in Quogue

For those who missed CCQ’s August 17th presentation by Dr. Robert Young, we encourage you to read a brief reaction and summary of the event, Time to Take Heed, authored by Karl Grossman and published by The Southampton Press. Mr. Grossman is an award-winning journalist who has dedicated much time and ink to covering the history and current state of the East End’s beaches.

The CCQ is pleased that Mr. Grossman’s interpretation of Dr. Young’s message is consistent with ours: that the best and most cost-effective intervention to save both private property and our beaches is to relocate structures, whenever it is possible to do so.

Dr. Young stressed that the implementation of hard structures to control erosion (such as revetments, groins, seawalls, jetties and so-called “semi-hard” structures, like geo-tubes)  create considerable damage to the beach. It was surprising to learn that these negative effects have been formally acknowledged by the Army Corps of Engineers, although the Corps continues to incorporate the use of many hard structures in its reformulation of the Fire Island to Montauk Point plan—a topic Mr. Grossman has covered extensively as recently as July, and stretching back far before Superstorm Sandy.

To read the full article, please click here. (Many thanks to The Press News Group for consenting to our use and reproduction of the article.)

Geologists’ Timeless 1981 ‘Skidaway Report’

All the way back in March of 1981, a group of concerned coastal geologists authored a position paper on “Saving the American Beach”; the result of the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography Conference on America’s Eroding Shoreline. It was subsequently presented to U.S. President Reagan in 1982.

In it, leading geologists from across the country outlined the threats of coastal development in the face of shoreline erosion, and recommended solutions that avoid the immense costs—both fiscal and environmental—of structural stabilization. Continue reading Geologists’ Timeless 1981 ‘Skidaway Report’