Bolstering Beaches



Part of the Army Corps's plan for downtown Montauk. Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Part of the Army Corps’s plan for downtown Montauk. Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

An $8.9 million project that involves moving tens of thousands of cubic yards of sand to create an artificial dune in Montauk is set to begin at the beginning of October.

The project, planned and funded by the Army Corps of Engineers, involves excavating the beach, putting in huge geotextile bags filled with sand to create a 105-foot wide dune spanning over half a mile from Atlantic Terrace to Surfside Place.

The town and county will be responsible for the annual maintenance of the dune, which some estimate around $150,000, but many fear could be much higher.

The Surfrider Foundation launched an online petition earlier this year, calling for legislators to reject the plan they say will “jeopardize our public beach and will cost taxpayers uncertain ongoing maintenance expenses.”

The environmental advocacy group Defend H20 and other individuals have filed a suit to stop the project, as well as an action in federal court to halt it. The plan is considered and interim emergency measure, which will be in place until the Fire Island to Montauk Point extensive beach reconstruction is completed.

The dune re-stabilization is set to begin after Columbus Day, and is scheduled to be done by the beginning of 2016.