Two fridays ago, Mike Busch, a Director at Save The Great South Bay, and proprietor of Great South Bay Images, took New York Times reporter Lisa Foderaro and I out for a trip to Bellport Inlet (The Breach). Lisa wanted to write a story on it, since between the Army Corps of Engineer’s roadshow for their $1.16 bil Fire Island to Montauk (FIMP) Plan, and the long anticipated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the breach, wherein The Fire Island National Seashore (FINS) will make its recommendation as to what would be the fate of the breach: should it be left alone (the overwhelming likelihood at this point) or should it be closed. The Army Corps awaits the decision as well, since they are in the business of closing breaches, and would close this one if called upon.
When Lisa first wrote on the breach April 5, 2013, Breach Through Fire Island Also Divides Opinions, there was indeed much controversy, and sharp opinion. Her piece from today, Oct 3rd, 2016 On Fire Island, a Scar From Hurricane Sandy Is Seen as a Good Thing really helps to measure how opinion, governed by science, shifted in these last 3 1/2 years. Had we in the weeks following Sandy succumbed to our fears and closed the breach, it would have been a disaster. Bellport Bay would have continued its death spiral, and we never would have known all the natural beauty this new inlet has brought to Long Island.
Lisa’s piece features comments from Prof. Chris Gobler of Stony Brook University, who has been studying the massive problem of algal blooms in our bays, Ed Romaine, Supervisor for The Town of Brookhaven, Christopher Soller, Superintendent of The Fire Island National Seashore, and Mike Busch, who in following is passion for nature photography has arguably seen more of this spectacular place than anyone. The real story here is that science prevailed, and people came together. We’ve a bay to fix, and this gift from Sandy set us in the right direction.