There are many threats to Montauk's Beaches.
The environmental group Concerned Citizens of Montauk is hosting a free expert panel discussion on the threats of storms and erosion to the survival of Montauks beaches. The panel features David Byer of Clean Ocean Action, Sara Newkirk of The Nature Conservancy, and Thomas Muse of the Surfrider Foundation.
CCOMs newly elected president, Bob Stern, feels it is important to bring various local constituencies together with experts and local elected officials to understand this critical situation and, hopefully, move toward sustainable, cost-effective solutions.
Rising sea levels and natural erosion are stealing coastline at an alarming rate. Montauk’s downtown and many homes and businesses are more vulnerable to storm damage as a result.
Federal, state, and local governments are beginning to pay attention:
• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is finalizing a study and recommendations for the entire coast, from Fire Island to Montauk
• A New York State task force is working on long term sustainability of our oceans with the implementation of ecosystem-based management
• The East End Town Supervisors have been meeting to devise a common approach to the threats to our beaches and communities.
Should hard structures be allowed? What about dune restoration and beach replenishment? Should coastal homes and commercial properties be condemned and moved from the shoreline?
CCOM believes that its time to add Montauks voice to this discussion. Our forum is intended to involve the various constituencies in Montauk for a discussion of possible solutions that make sense for us, says Bob Stern, newly elected President of CCOM. Bob went on to ask, What should a small community like Montauk do in the face of erosion that threatens homes, businesses and our beaches?
Thomas Muse Environmental Director, Eastern L.I. Chapter, Surfrider Foundation. The Eastern L.I. Chapter has been at the forefront of numerous environmental initiatives designed to preserve our beaches and coastline.
Local elected officials will also be on hand to comment and answer questions, including E.H. Town Natural Resources Director Larry Penny, State Assemblyman Fred Thiele, and County Legislator Jay Schneiderman. We encourage all of Montauk fishermen, business owners, shore dwellers, beach lovers to come and make your concerns and opinions known. Let's listen to the experts, talk among ourselves, and plan the next steps, Stern says.
The world is beginning to wake up to the global threat to oceans and beaches. All of us in Montauk need to be part of the discussion to come up with a clear plan on what the best approach should be for Montauk.