The Surfrider Foundation, along with its Eastern Long Island Chapter and local Montauk residents, is calling for a halt of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s beach armoring project currently under way along the beach in Montauk, NY.
Since Friday, November 6, when the Corps began construction of the geotextile seawall, there has been a massive public outcry from packed public hearings to protests to civil disobedience with several arrests, and paddle outs in opposition, reported Surfrider in a release.
The Corps’ geotextile seawall and artificial dune project has received much opposition since it was proposed in April 2014.
Dr. Rob Young, one of the nation’s leading coastal geologists and an expert on the impacts for projects like this, stated: “It is my opinion that the project design is flawed. The geotextile wall will be exposed well before the projected lifespan is reached. The project will likely result in significant degradation of the public beach, while providing little protection for property.”
“We are now insisting that the East Hampton Supervisor Larry Cantwell and other town board members vote immediately to halt the project, and notify the US Army Corps of Engineers with a halt and termination request. We need sand, not seawalls to save Montauk,” said Thomas Muse, Environmental Coordinator for the Surfrider Eastern Long Island Chapter.
According to Surfrider, there are alternative solutions to protecting the beach and downtown Montauk. For the short-term, a sand only project and berm reconfiguration without a geotextile bag core would provide temporary protection without the impacts of the seawall.
And in the longer term, a well-designed and constructed beach fill (nourishment) project can provide temporary protection but is costly and will likely impact the near-shore habitats, beach going and surfing.
A true long-term solution is to relocate the structures along the beach landward, if possible, or remove them and restore the primary dune.