Beach Replenishment Will Enhance Coastal Storm Risk Reduction
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today announced measures to reverse flood damage west of Shinnecock Inlet after two storms in October 2019 resulted in severe erosion and large losses of sand along the shoreline. The damage threatened properties west of the Shinnecock Inlet, including Dune Road, an evacuation route, commercial fishing plants, marina facilities, and public restaurants, leading New York State to issue a request in November 2019 for emergency repairs. USACE has awarded a $10.7 million contract to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company of Oakbrook, Illinois, to address the significant coastline storm damages encountered at the West of Shinnecock Inlet Coastal Storm Risk Reduction Project on the south shore of Long Island.
"The damage left in the wake of the two major storms last fall disrupted local businesses and the region's marina and fishing industries, while posing public safety risks to communities along Long Island's South Shore. We are acting with the urgency this situation demands by partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Suffolk County to ensure this situation is addressed right away," Governor Cuomo said. "These critical repairs will replenish the beach and strengthen protections against future flooding along the South Shore.
Work is expected to begin within the first week of February 2020 and be completed before the end of March, pending good weather. USACE plans on placing an estimated 600,000 cubic yards of sand to enhance coastal storm risk reduction measures. Great Lakes will bring in a Cutterhead Dredge to perform the beach replenishment work at WOSI, ensuring no impacts to other projects currently underway at West Hampton Beach and Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Ensuring public safety of coastal communities along Long Island's South Shore is a top priority. In November, after two major storms caused widespread damage in the area, Governor Cuomo called on the federal government to provide relief to impacted businesses and residents and to repair and rebuild flood protections. I am thankful for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' response to this crisis. New York remains committed to working with our federal, state, county, and local partners to safeguard Suffolk County's South Shore from future weather events."
Representative Lee Zeldin said, "This is an urgent situation along Dune Road affecting our community's small businesses and jobs, and I applaud the Army Corps for doing everything in its power to respond to our requests quickly and effectively regarding this urgent matter. The $10.7 million contract awarded today is continued good news for our local economy and the restaurants and other businesses, including the second largest commercial fishing dock in New York, that operate in the affected area. I'm grateful to Colonel Asbery and his team at the Army Corps for their continued hard work and partnership on this project and all across our beautiful district."
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "The outer beach along Dune road has taken a severe beating from mother nature in recent months requiring multiple emergency stabilization efforts by local agencies to avoided the devastation of a full breach of the barrier Island. I applaud USACE and our federal, state and local partners for their swift response in helping secure this funding to provide a long-term solution that will protect these vulnerable communities from future storm events."
New York District Commander Col. Thomas D. Asbery said, "Awarding this contract will allow USACE to address the coastal flooding at West of Shinnecock Inlet. Safety continues to be our top priority as we develop tangible solutions to mitigate risk to these communities. I'd like to thank all of our partners at New York State and Suffolk County, as well as the support of our federal, state, and local elected officials for their support in helping to bring a sense of urgency and high level visibility that helped address this issue in a timely manner."
Under Public Law 84-99 (PL 84-99) USACE has the legal authority to conduct emergency response and recovery activities to supplement local efforts in the repair of existing Coastal Storm Risk Management projects impacted by significant coastal storms. Once complete, the work will restore the federally authorized WOSI project to its 2005 level of protection when it was originally built, meaning a15-foot-high dune with an associated 140-foot-wide beach berm from the toe of the dune.