We wrote about the Fire Island beach replenishment on August 6, 2019, “Shame on You Suffolk County: The Attempt to Steal Just Compensation.” As was then stated, the takings on Fire Island were the result of a federal study which followed Hurricane Sandy.
The study, Inlet Stabilization Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Project Report, US Army Corps of Engineers, June 2014, stated the dune was to protect Fire Island and, in addition, the back-bay area of the South Shore opposite Fire Island. (Ibid. 1.2.2). It was established that there were more than 9,000 buildings on the South Shore and over 5,000 buildings on Fire Island.
The easement taken for the dune precludes any further use or access to the beach. The process of replenishment is a technique involving pumping sand onto an eroding shoreline for the purpose of reducing storm damage and increasing protection to coastal development and infrastructure. When complete, people and property behind the beach hopefully will have reduced risk of flooding and damage from severe storms and tidal surges.
The local work is part of the $281 million federally funded FIMI project that has been rebuilding dunes and berms along the oceanfront on the 32-mile barrier island that protects mainland LI from the Atlantic.
Weeks Marine, the dredge company pumping sand from offshore onto FI, was slated to complete work on beaches in front of Ocean Bay Park and Point O’ Woods, two communities in the middle of the island, when the ships were called to Florida.
“The FIMI project was designed to bring much-needed sand to Fire Island after Hurricane Sandy,” a Point O’ Woods representative told the Press. “We are anxious to see the project completed and continue to work with the Army Corps and Weeks Marine in good faith toward successful completion by the June 19th deadline.”
But it turns out, the situation near Mar-a-Lago might not have been an actual emergency.
An Army Corps document distributed to local leaders in New York described the Palm Beach situation as an “emergency,” however, an Army Corps spokesperson admitted to The Post the matter down south was nothing urgent. The rep also insisted the close proximity to President Trump’s “southern White House” was just a coincidence.
Yes, indeed, just a coincidence.