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FACT SHEET - Fire Island Inlet and Shores Westerly to Jones Inlet, New York

Beach Erosion Control and Navigation Project

Published Feb. 1, 2018

DESCRIPTION:  This is a multi-purpose project that provides both a navigation channel and coastal storm risk management benefits through the periodic maintenance dredging of the navigation channel with placement of all the dredged sand westward along Gilgo Beach shoreline on Jones Island for several miles west of the inlet within the barrier island’s critical erosion areas.  The dredged sand placed at Gilgo Beach can then nourish the westerly beaches moving towards Jones Inlet.  The coastal storm risk management component of this multi-purpose project is cost shared by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.  The navigation component is not cost-shared.  This leads to a cost sharing ratio of Federal (82.6%) and non-Federal (17.4%).  The non-Federal component is shared 50/50 between New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Suffolk County.  

AUTHORIZATION:  Navigation channel authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1937 and subsequently modified by the Rivers and Harbors Acts of 1950.  In the Rivers and Harbors Acts of 1958 and 1962 the coastal storm risk management components were authorized and added to the navigation channel component making this a unique multi-purpose project.  

COMMERCE:  Although it does not have any commercial navigation transitting this asset, the inlet is the homeport to USCG station Fire Island, has a fleet of 35 commercial charter boats, and state park marina.  Attendance to Captree boat basin nears 2 million annually.  Heavily used recreational ocean inlet with very high shoal rate.  State cost sharing is for beach placement.  The barrier beach protects Great South Bay which is a significant wildlife habitat area.  Many threatened shorebirds nest in the Great South Bay and surrounding area.  

BACKGROUND:  The last maintenance dredging cycle was completed in the Winter 2013-14 after Hurricane Sandy with the placement of approximately 2.3 million CY along the critical erosion areas at Gilgo Beach and Tobay Beach.  Dredging and placement at Gilgo Beach was completed on March 26, 2008.  The previous maintenance dredging cycle was completed in March of 2008 and removed approximately 620,000 CY.   STATUS:  During FY18, the project was in caretaker status includes monitoring of the channel shoaling conditions, coordination with the users and stakeholders including the USCG; and the monitoring of piping plovers working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  


Edward Wrocenski
Project Manager
(917) 790-8636      

U..S. Army Corps of Engineers
New York District      
26 Federal Plaza    
New York, NY 10278         

Congressional District: NY #2