Save the Date! Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 7:00PM at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett.
Eastern Long Island Chapter Co-Chairs, Juliana Duryea and Mike Bottini with Surfrider Foundation’s new CEO, Chad Nelson, at the Eastern U.S. Chapter Conference in Ocean City, MD, celebrating Surfrider Foundation’s 30th year!
October 11, 2014
SURFRIDER FOUNDATION OPPOSES MONTAUK GEO-BAG PROPOSAL
On Thursday, October 9, 2014, Eastern Long Island Chapter of Surfrider Foundation staged a protest of the Army Corps of Engineers’ proposal to construct an artificial dune on the publicly owned beach in downtown Montauk. The proposed work includes placing 14,000 sand bags – each weighing 1.7 tons – along 3,100 linear feet of the ocean intertidal zone seaward of the existing motels and seaward of the natural primary dune line in that area. The bags will be covered with a layer of sand and planted with beachgrass, a cosmetic touch that coastal geologist Rob Young describes as “the lipstick on the pig.”
This proposal flies in the face of the advice of three well known and respected coastal geologists that have reviewed the situation in downtown Montauk: Dr. Robert Young, Dr. Stephen Leatherman, and Dr. Orrin Plikey. All three have stated that sand-filled geotextile bags mimic bulkheads and other hard structures in terms of their impact on beaches. This Army Corps of Engineers proposal prioritizes the value and protection of privately owned commercial structures over that of the public beach.
Surfrider Foundation’s position is that our public beach is our greatest asset and its long term protection warrants top priority. Reflected wave energy from the geotextile bags will quickly erode the public beach. We also note that the motels were constructed many years ago on top of the existing primary dune, destroying that precious natural resource. This proposal will compound the mistakes made in the 1960s and 1970s: it will result in the destruction of the beach in addition to the already destroyed primary dune.
Surfrider Foundation members stand in the 50-foot-wide footprint of the proposed geotextile bag artificial dune that will destroy downtown Montauk’s public beach.
Local kitesurfer Elias Van Sickle, age 18, organized a kite-surfing fundraiser called the “Downwinder” several years ago. This year’s beneficiary will be the Eastern LI Chapter’s Rise Above Plastics campaign. The event will happen sometime during October, Rise Above Plastics month, as they wait for good winds, but the fundraising is happening now, so please visit here and support this event.
Coastal geologist Dr. Robert Young submitted the following letter on behalf of our chapter. He evaluated the Army Corps of Engineers’ proposal to protect the motels that were built atop the ocean front primary dune many years ago. The proposal recommends constructing a new dune that will be reinforced with huge sand bags and located well seaward of the existing primary dune in what is now the ocean intertidal zone and our publicly-owned beach. Some of you may remember when a much smaller version of this – with private funding – was attempted in Bridgehampton many years ago. It unraveled in a time span of months.
Chapter Co-Chair Mike Bottini leads in recent East Hampton Star editorial. They write, “One of the people who have been thinking a lot about a proposed surf club on the old East Deck Motel site at Ditch Plain in Montauk stopped in at The Star office the other day to point something out. Mike Bottini, an outdoorsman and member of the Surfrider Foundation’s local chapter, laid out a set of
As you know, a corporation known as ED40 has prepared a set of plans that call for the redevelopment of the former East Deck Motel at Ditch Plains in Montauk. ED40’s application to the Town of East Hampton for special permits necessary to proceed with their project had been scheduled for review by the Town’s Planning Board on Wednesday evening, September 17. Strong community opposition to the ED40 plan has caused ED40 to reconsider its plans and ask for and receive an adjournment of the September 17 meeting. This means that the Planning Board will NOT be reviewing their application this Wednesday evening and there is no need for Surfrider members to attend the meeting on September 17.