The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announces the recent completion of dredging in five south shore inlets. The projects have all been dual-purposed, restoring safe depths for navigation, and beneficially using all dredged sands for coastal storm risk resiliency and environmental restoration. The five inlets, all dredged since last fall are East Rockaway Inlet, Jones Inlet, Fire Island Inlet, Moriches Inlet and Shinnecock Inlet. Taken together, the dredging activities removed over a million cubic yards of sand, all of which was placed on adjacent beaches or into the literal drift system.
Dredging activities during the fall and winter season did see some major challenges given many extreme weather days and difficult working conditions. Yet, a strong partnership effort among multiple federal, state and local agencies continuously developed innovative strategies to deliver the projects while ensuring safety, endangered species protection and compliance with regulatory standards.
Most challenging were the latest activities to complete Contract 2 of the Fire Island to Montauk Point Project (FIMP) which required dredging in Moriches Inlet and Shinnecock Inlet. The Corps, in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) and federal and state resource agencies, worked tirelessly to deliver the project. With completion of work under the $24,498,050 contract, which was awarded to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company LLC of Houston, TX, there is now bolstered resilience of Long Island's coastline.
The FIMP contract involved the hydraulic dredging of more than 320,000 cubic yards of sand from Shinnecock and Moriches Inlets, strategically placing it on updrift and downdrift beaches to reduce erosion and strengthen coastal resiliency. The FIMP Project reduces flood risk for Long Islanders along vulnerable areas of 83 miles of coastline in Suffolk County, from Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point.
"The completion of this contract signifies a major milestone in the FIMP Project,” said COL Matthew Luzzatto, commander, USACE, New York District. “Our dedicated team, alongside federal, state, and local partners, has worked tirelessly to address this challenging project. Their efforts will ensure the safety and well-being of the residents of the surrounding communities as we continue to strengthen our coastlines and make them more resilient against future coastal storms. I would like to thank everyone for their dedication, commitment, and unwavering support in completing this project.”
"We appreciate the opportunity to coordinate with USACE to meet their responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act during this phase of the project," said Ian Drew, field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's New York Field Office. "We look forward to continued cooperation to fulfill conservation measures and goals for mitigation, monitoring, and management as this important work continues."
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “We’re proud to be the state partner in this effort with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect Long Island’s coastal communities by reducing flood risks. Climate change is driving an uptick in both severe storms and flooding. To safeguard our communities and our natural resources, we must continue to work together on the federal, state, and local levels on projects like this to increase storm resiliency.”
The work at Fire Island, Moriches and Shinnecock are part of a comprehensive, multi-year $1.7 billion project, fully federally funded under Public Law 113-2, the Emergency Supplemental Bill passed in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The project incorporates a range of features to reduce coastal flood risks, including structure elevations, building retrofits, a breach response plan, beach and dune fill, and adaptive management strategies.
The USACE New York District will continue to lead construction efforts in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), Suffolk County, the Towns of Babylon, Islip, Brookhaven, Southampton, and Easthampton, the National Park Service (NPS), Fire Island National Seashore (FIIS), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Collaboration with these stakeholders ensures that environmental sensitivity and endangered species protection remain paramount as the FIMP Project advances.
For more information, please visit the USACE New York District website at: https://www.nan.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Projects-in-New-York/Fire-Island-to-Montauk-Point/
About the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, is responsible for the federal water resources development in New Jersey, New York, and parts of Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. The District is committed to delivering vital engineering solutions, in collaboration with partners, to secure the Nation, energize the economy, and reduce risk from disaster.