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Nov 5, 2019 10:05 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Suffolk County Begins Pumping Sand Onto Beach In Hampton Bays

Crews at work on the emergency dredging operation to widen the beach just west of the Shinnecock Canal in Hampton Bays on Monday.
Nov 5, 2019 3:58 PM

An emergency operation to widen the beach in Hampton Bays just west of the Shinnecock Inlet, using dredged sand from the bottom of Shinnecock Bay, got underway on Sunday and is expected to continue for about a month.

Crews are expected to dredge approximately 90,000 cubic yards of sand from Shinnecock Bay to be deposited on the ocean-facing beach in front of the Shinnecock Commercial Fishing Docks.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman worked with Suffolk County officials to put a plan in place to build up the beach after three storms over the course of three weeks hammered the beaches in the area. During the storms, a sand dune was washed away, and waves pushed across Dune Road.

“[The] dredge should start Saturday or Sunday,” Mr. Schneiderman said in a text on Friday morning. “We should be OK after that. It will operate for a month. We’ll just have to keep an eye on the weather for the next week until the sand dune is built up a little.”

On Thursday morning, October 31, a meeting took place involving county and town officials, including the Town Trustees, as a fourth in a series of recent storms approached the East End.

Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor moved 300 cubic yards of sand earlier that morning in an effort to help bolster the dune before the storm struck, according to Mr. Schneiderman, which was a change of strategy from the earlier storms.

When the first storm churned off the coast in early October, Ms. Gregor said his crew did not help with restoring a dune that washed out because they were busy addressing other areas of the town that were flooded, and cleaning up downed trees. He also said a breach contingency plan that was created after Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene required him to get the state and county involved.

The situation turned into a political dispute between Mr. Gregor and Mr. Schneiderman — who were both running for town supervisor.

Along with Mr. Gregor’s 300 cubic yards of sand, Mr. Schneiderman said there were about 5,000 cubic yards of sand to maneuver if the dune was knocked out.

Mr. Schneiderman and other officials monitored the dune through the night, with 40-to-50-mph winds out of the south and 10-to-15-foot waves.

On Thursday morning, Mr. Schneiderman said, the high tide barely touched the dune, but there was enough concern to be on watch as the winds and waves would be more intense as the storm pushed through.

The town was also watching a few other areas where the sand had eroded away. For example, the beach in Quogue Village had been scooped out during the previous three storms, and Round Dune in East Quogue had a building with a deck about to be taken by the sea.

Mr. Schneiderman said the Trustees’ involvement was crucial because they hold an easement along the ocean-facing beach. He also said if permits needed to be obtained along the easement, the Trustees would need to be involved.

As the storm approached, Mr. Schneiderman said he monitored the situation. At around midnight, as the tide began to head back out to sea, he left. “It got hammered, but it held up,” he said in a text on Friday morning.

Now, as work begins to replenish the sand, the beach overlook at Road H, the beach between the Ponquogue Pavilion and Shinnecock Inlet, both in Hampton Bays, and Dolphin Lane in East Quogue are closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The closures are expected to remain in effect for the next four to five weeks.

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It won't last the winter.
By even fIow (60), Westhampton Beach on Nov 5, 19 4:25 PM
When disagreements happen between politicians who have the same goal, it's best to assume neither one is acting in good faith. Hand this off to a pro.
By SaWim (1), Southampton on Nov 5, 19 4:53 PM
Look how big the beach is on the east side of the inlet. Does the length of the jetty on that side have something to do with it? Interesting....
By HB90 (164), southampton on Nov 5, 19 7:23 PM
All that east side sand would be moving into the scoured area if it wasn't blocked by the inlet jetties. Where are Fred Thiele and Ken LaValle on this? For twenty or thirty years they've been promising a pump system to move sand from the east side to the west.

Where is it? Where are they? Are they still breathing? Has either accomplished anything other than lip service as they feed themselves at the public teat?
By VOS (1241), WHB on Nov 5, 19 9:37 PM
Littoral drift moves from east to west and the east jetty traps sand migrating down the beach and exacerbates erosion down drift. To alleviate the problem, the west jetty needs to be lengthened and dog legged to the southwest. This would take eliminate the scouring effect in front of the commercial dock and was proposed to the Army Corps of Engineers when the jetties were "fixed" , unfortunately , local knowledge was ignored and we ae suffering the consequences.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Nov 5, 19 7:30 PM
3 members liked this comment
I'm from the gov't and I'm here to help
By politcal pawn (121), Flanders on Nov 5, 19 8:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
How long does it take the ocean to move 90,000 cubic yards of sand?
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Nov 6, 19 11:18 AM