In November 2011, the Village of Quogue (assisted by First Coastal Corporation) applied for a permit to dredge 1.1 million cubic yards of sand one mile offshore from Quogue and place it along Quogue’s 2.7 miles of beach at an estimated cost of $15 million. This is the largest expenditure of any kind ever considered by the Village government. It could result in the largest increase in real estate taxes in the Village’s history. Up to seven feet of natural sand would be excavated from a 100 acre site situated less than a mile offshore in the area between the Quogue Beach Club and the Surf Club. We strenuously oppose this project because it takes a costly and currently unnecessary approach to address the preservation of Quogue’s beach. Key considerations include:
- Only a small portion of the Quogue shoreline would currently benefit from a beach widening project such as the one proposed. The oceanfront property owners along this stretch of shoreline would reap all of the financial return from the proposed project. We do not believe that all the citizens in Quogue should be required to finance storm damage reduction for a small number of oceanfront property owners.
- Any suggestion that the project will significantly reduce the likelihood of island over wash and breaching, is highly speculative. Any suggestion that the project will reduce the risk of storm surge flooding behind the barrier island and in the Village is not supported by science.
- Many houses currently fronted by narrow beaches in Quogue were built far too close to the ocean, even when there was plenty of room to build further back on the lot. These property owners need to assume personal responsibility for their actions and investment decisions. Many homes in Quogue are perfect candidates for relocation, often on the same lot. This is not a crazy idea. It happens regularly in places like Nantucket.
- Beach nourishment projects are temporary and any storm reduction benefits are temporary. The entire dry portion of the project could be removed in one storm as happened recently in Folly Beach, SC. We encourage the Village of Quogue to engage all citizens in a discussion of long-term solutions to coastal storm hazards, sea level rise, and erosion. This discussion needs to move beyond the proposal of a one-off sand fill that will benefit only a small number of our citizens.
To read an unbiased, qualified evaluation of the proposed beach nourishment project for Quogue, please click here.