ActivePaper Archive Beach Replenishment To Be Completed Soon - Southampton Press - Western Edition, 4/8/2010

Beach Replenishment To Be Completed Soon


Workers installed sand-filled bags at Quogue Village Beach this week. DANA SHAW

Despite delays due to heavy rainfall late last month, Quogue Village is on schedule to replenish its municipal beach by a mid-April deadline imposed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, according to Mayor Peter Sartorius.

A nor’easter devastated the village’s public beach last November, during which high winds and towering waves ate away at the dunes, washed away the stairs leading down to the beach, and damaged the decks and walkways there.

Damage from the nor’easter, the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida, seemed to be concentrated on the tiny beach. Over the course of the storm, which raged between November 12 and 14, the 210-foot-long village beach lost a total of 16,000 cubic yards of sand, and the dunes retreated about 50 feet, according to Aram Terchunian, a coastal geologist with First Coastal Corporation in Westhampton Beach.

“That, comparatively, was quite badin my experience, the most single-event erosion I’ve seen in 10 or 15 years,” Mr. Terchunian said.

In the months since the storm, the village has embarked on a series of costly and labor-intensive projects to restore the beach before summer rolls around.

Mayor Sartorius estimated that, in total, Quogue Village will spend about $500,000 in order to restore its public beach. This winter, President Barack Obama declared the south shore of Long Island a disaster area following the storm, a move that made federal funds available to help repair the damage. Mayor Sartorius said it is likely that the village will be reimbursed for all or part of the costs of replenishing the beach. “It’s not over till it’s over, but that’s what I’m planning,” he said.

Throughout the winter, Quogue Village spent about $76,000 to take some emergency preventative measures to protect its municipal beach and assess the damage to the dunes. Those funds paid for the dumping of approximately 800 tons of sand, and 590 tons of boulders that were placed there temporarily to guard against further erosion, according to village officials.

Late last month, the village began another phase of the restoration. In the last week of March, immediately after the village received DEC approval, contractors began trucking thousands of cubic yards of sand from a public stockpile on Tiana Beach, near Road K in Hampton Bays, according to Mayor Sartorius. The 70,000-cubic-yard emergency stockpile was formed from sand dredged from the bottom of Shinnecock Inlet by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this past winter.

The DEC allowed the village to take 13,000 cubic yards of sand from the pile, but Mayor Sartorius said he was not sure how much the village would end up using.

Even with state permission, workers had less than one week to complete the shoreline restoration by an April 1 deadline imposed by the DEC, due to the start of the courtship and nesting season for piping plovers. The birds, which nest in the sand, are on the New York State endangered species list and listed as a threatened species by the federal government.

After workers were delayed by heavy rains that drenched Southampton Town between Sunday and Tuesday of last week, it became clear that the beach restoration project was not going to meet the deadline, Mayor Sartorius said. On March 31, the DEC granted the village an extension to April 15—more than enough time to replenish the shoreline, he added.

Earlier this week, between 8,000 and 9,000 cubic yards of sand sat in massive piles in the beach’s parking lot, with bulldozers and other heavy equipment parked alongside it.

Initially, the village estimated that restoring sand to the beach would cost about $620,000. But that cost was cut by about half when the village gained access to the emergency stockpile on Tiana Beach, which is free.

“We saved a lot of money by getting access to that sand pile,” Mayor Sartorius said. “I’m glad we did it.”

Part of that cost is for geo-cubes. In the coming days, workers will begin to bury a number of the large sand-filled boxes up against the dunes, in order to provide some structural support and bulk up the beach.