The National Parks Service has issued a public request for comment as part of the process of coming up with a plan to manage ‘The Breach” aka Old Inlet aka New Inlet aka Bellport Inlet that was opened up on Fire Island by Hurricane Sandy at Bellport Bay. Here is a link to The National Park Service’s (NPS) page outlining the history of the breach. Attached is a three page ‘scoping newsletter’ that outlines the process of putting together a management plan / environmental impact statement for the breach.
It lays out four different options —
1 Leave the breach open and managed under natural conditions. Under this alternative, growth or closure of the breach would be determined by natural barrier island processes.
2 Close the breach. This alternative would provide that the breach is immediately filled and closed mechanically.
3 Leave the breach open and establish procedures for closing the breach if certain conditions occur. This alternative would likely require the development of criteria and thresholds for assessing benefits, impacts, and risks; monitoring to provide data to assess benefits, impacts, and risks; and periodic evaluation of benefits, impacts, and risks.
4 Stabilize the breach to provide a permanent inlet connecting Great South Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. This alternative is inconsistent with NPS policies and the Federal Wilderness Act
Obviously, Save The Great South Bay’s position is to leave it alone. The Great South Bay may getting worse in general, year by year, but not around the breach due south of Bellport. There, you will see clean water, fish, birds, seal, fish, mussel beds — nature resurgent. The National Parks Service is obliged to offer this period of public comment as it prepares its management plan and environmental impact statement for “The Breach.” So let’s tell them where we stand! This is your opportunity to add your voice in this process. The few who want to close it will be adding their commentary, of that you can be sure.
Here is the online form where you can submit your comments. Comments close Oct 8th!