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

Beach Erosion Control and Navigation Project

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Published Dec. 20, 2023

DESCRIPTION: This is a multi-purpose project that provides both a navigation channel, a minimum of 250 feet wide and to a minimum of -10 feet Mean Low Water Datum, and coastal storm risk management benefits through the periodic maintenance dredging of the navigation channel with placement of all the dredged sand westward along the 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 transiting this asset, the inlet is the homeport to USCG Station Fire Island, has a fleet of 35 commercial charter boats, and a state park marina. Attendance to Captree boat basin nears 2 million annually. This asset is a heavily used recreational ocean inlet with very high shoal rate. 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: Fire Island Inlet was most recently dredged in 2022-23 with approximately 1.5 million cubic yards of dredged sand placed Gilgo Beach at Robert Moses State Park under the Fire Island to Montauk Point Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Project. The last maintenance dredging cycle was completed in the Winter 2018-19 to repair Gilgo Beach that was damaged after a series of four nor‘Easters in March 2018. Approximately 1.8 million CY of sand were placed along the critical erosion areas at Gilgo Beach. Previous dredging and placement at Gilgo Beach was completed during the winter of 2013-14.

STATUS: During FY2024, funds will provide for commonly performed Operations & Maintenance (O&M) work including solicitation and award of a maintenance dredging contract that will be performed during Fall 2024.  Monitoring of the channel shoaling conditions, coordination with the users and stakeholders including the USCG; monitoring of piping plovers with the US Fish and Wildlife Service; and production of an annual hydrographic condition survey, and publication of the Controlling Depth Report on the District’s website will also be performed in FY2024. (https://www.nan.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/Controlling-Depth-Reports/)


William T. Bruno
Asset/Project Manager
P: (917) 790-8516                          
Email: William.Bruno@usace.army.mil
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
26 Federal Plaza
New York, NY 10278                 

District Area: NY #2