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Sandy’s Silver Lining
December 21, 2013 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pmFree
A panel of scientists will discuss how the breach in Fire Island across from Bellport has helped to revitalize Bellport Bay while helping us to realize what water pollution problems plague the bay as a whole. Questions will be taken from the public. The auditorium holds 700, so it should be a good turnout.
Guest Speakers followed by Public Session
Charlie Flagg, Ph.D, Research Professor, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences(SoMAS) at Stony Brook SOMAS
Prof. Flagg will share his perspective as a research scientist and will provide a slide presentation of images of the breach at Old Inlet taken during his numerous observation flights over the area. Mr. Flagg has been studying the circulation of the costal lagoons of southern Long Island using a combination of numerical modeling and observation. Currently, he is looking at the impact that breaches in Fire Island might have on circulation, sea level, and salinity distribution in Great South Bay. Pof. Flagg will share data collected at the Bellport marina and by the SoMAS research buoy in Great South Bay that show some noticeable changes since Sandy. December 2013 Report
Christopher J. Gobler, Ph.D., Professor, Stony Brook University’s
School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
Dr. Gobler has been investigating the ecology of Long Island’s bays for 20 years. Since the New Inlet was formed last year, Dr. Gobler’s group began sampling and surveying Great South Bay and Moriches Bay to
assess the impacts of New Inlet on the ecology of the Bay. They have been able to document how the inlet has changed the salinity, water clarity, nutrients, algae, and brown tides in Great South Bay and have
continually shared the data with the public on the Stony Brook – Southampton Coastal and Estuarine Research Program Facebook page. During his presentation, Dr Gobler will review these findings as well as review plans and expectations for the future. New Inlet Report
Christopher Soller, Superintendent, Fire Island National Seashore (FINS)
Mr. Soller will provide a brief update of the Seashore’s involvement in the implementation of a 1997 multi-agency Breach Contingency Plan BCP. This plan calls for the immediate filling of breaches on Fire Island which do not occur in federally-designated wilderness. For a breach within the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness, a more conservative response is prescribed,and includes inter-agency monitoring of the behavior of the breach, while initially allowing it to close naturally. If the breach is determined to have adverse impacts on water levels in surrounding communities, it will be closed immediately. Supt. Soller will share data gathered by the National Park Service and partner agencies at the breach at Old Inlet.
FINS Most Recent Observations
Jim Gilmore, Director, Bureau of Marine Resources, New York State Department of Enviornmental Protection NYSDEC
Mr. Gilmore will provide and update of the decision making process with regard to if the inlet will be closed manually or allowed to remain open. The NYSDEC works with its partners to monitor the breach, ensuring that data is available to inform management decisions. No monitoring results to date have triggered the immediate closure of the breach.
Anthony L. Graves, Chief Environmental Analyst, Town of Brookhaven,
Department of Planning
Mr. Graves will discuss the implications of water quality impairments in Great South Bay for local governments, and beneficial effects on water quality of the new inlet. The additional flushing provided by the new inlet appears to be decreasing the concentrations of pathogens and other pollutants, and also reducing the impacts of Brown Tide blooms within Bellport Bay. Report on Brown Tide Densites 10/8/13
Joseph Gagliano, Chairman, Bellport Village Waterfront Commission
Mr. Gagliano will share his perspective as it relates to the actual effects being experienced along the Bellport Village shoreline post Sandy. Bellport Village lies directly opposite the breach on Fire Island less then two miles away.