Mattituck Inlet Dredging Gets Approval (USA)
Congressman Tim Bishop announced that a long-awaited $3.4 million federal project to mitigate erosion that is threatening homes to the east of Mattituck Inlet and the integrity of the Inlet itself will proceed this fall under a US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) program known as CAP 111 that will fund planning, engineering, and construction work at 100 percent federal cost.
The project proposes to place approximately 100,000 cubic yards of material in a 20-foot wide strip approximately 4,500 feet long extending east from the eastern jetty. Approximately 90,000 cubic yards will be taken from Mattituck Inlet, widening the existing channel and dredging to a depth of -11 feet from Mean Low Water. An additional 10,000 cubic yards of material will be taken from an area of approximately 200 x 200 feet directly west of the western jetty.
In addition, the Inlet itself has been affected by shoaling and this dredge will guarantee safe and reliable conditions for commercial and recreational navigation in the waterway for years to come. Mattituck Inlet was not scheduled to be dredged until 2014 at the earliest, but under the CAP 111 project the dredge will be deeper and wider as well as being completed earlier.
“This project has been a top priority for Southold Town for over a decade, and I advocated strongly for it to move forward as quickly as possible to ensure the navigability of the inlet and protect the homes east of the inlet threatened by erosion,” said Congressman Tim Bishop. “Now the necessary dredging and shoreline protection will move forward at the same time, maximizing the effectiveness of federal dollars. I thank Supervisor Russell and Southold Town for their dedicated work on this partnership.”
The Mattituck CAP 111 project received approval from USACE national headquarters in Washington on Friday and is expected and is expected to result in an agreement between the Town of Southold and the New York District Corps of Engineers within two to three weeks. After the approvals are secured, USACE will begin working on the final design specifications of the project, final permitting and securing a contract for the work to be performed once seasonal environmental restrictions on dredging are lifted in September.
CAP 111 projects are authorized under Section 111 of the River and Harbor Act of 1968 for prevention or mitigation of damages to both non-federal public and privately owned shores to the extent that such damages can be directly identified and attributed to federal navigation works–in this case the two jetties that were first built in 1906 and expanded over the years. In 1999, NYS DEC requested that USACE initiate a Section 111 Study to investigate shore erosion down drift of the Inlet and identify the most cost effective solution to address the problem.
Since taking office in 2003, Bishop has secured a total of $595,000 in federal funding to support a feasibility study for a CAP 111 project in Mattituck. Once work is complete in early 2014, Southold Town and NYS DEC, as the non-federal sponsors of the project, will be responsible for operating and maintaining the mitigation measures.
“This is a rarely-used program in New York that requires a lengthy review process, and I applaud the community for their patience as we worked to ensure that the federal government will take full responsibility for the unacceptable erosion burden its jetties placed on the property owners east of the inlet,” said Bishop. “This is an important step forward both for those whose property will be protected and for those who rely on a navigable Mattituck inlet for their livelihood and recreation.”
Press Release, May 8, 2013