An emergency dredging operation in the Moriches Inlet is just one step away from becoming a reality, according to the yesterday’s announcement made by Congressman Lee Zeldin.
The Congressman announced that the Commander of the U.S. Army Corps New York District, Colonel Thomas Asbery, has received the needed Emergency Declaration from the Army Corps North Atlantic Division Brigadier General William Graham, granting Rep. Zeldin’s request to perform emergency dredging of the Moriches Inlet.
“With this emergency declaration, the process of coordinating funding and permits will be initiated and expedited so dredging vessels can begin working on the Moriches Inlet as soon as possible,” said Congressman Zeldin.
According to him, the emergency declaration allows for expedited coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the listed endangered bird species, Piping Plover; the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding relevant fisheries species, the United States Coast Guard – Sector Long Island; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the State of New York Department of State.
The expedited coordination is needed to comply with several federal and state laws as well as help identify suitable placement location for the 300,000 cubic yards of sand that is clogging the inlet.
“Several strong and unprecedented recent winter storms resulted in significant shoaling of Moriches Inlet,” added the Congressman. “This inlet provides critical access to the Atlantic Ocean and has allowed some boats to bypass the shoaling problems of Moriches Bay. The threat of a closure of the inlet would deal a major blow to marine related businesses across eastern Suffolk County and present a danger to boaters’ safety.”
Last month, Zeldin was joined by local electeds, small businesses, boaters and fishermen in calling for an emergency dredge of Moriches Inlet during which the Congressman joined local fisherman to survey the inlet’s dangerous navigation conditions first-hand.