The real motivation re: the question of whether to close the breach is money. $3.2 billion dollars of Sandy Relief funds went to The Army Corps of Engineers no strings attached to dole out however they see fit. Aram Terchunian, who is represented in The Newsday and News12 reporting as a ‘Coastal Geologist’ is actually the owner and CEO First Coastal, a company currently bidding on many millions of dollars of contracts to push sand around post Sandy. http://www.firstcoastal.com/contact.asp. Why didn’t the reporter Emily Dooley at least Google the person she was talking to? Save The Great South Bay stgsborg.wpengine.com pointed out to Newsday via at least several emails from different people Mr. Terchunian’s obvious bias in the matter, but now the story runs with no byline. I think we can infer Newsday’s biases here, as they are a reliable supporter Schumer. Senator Schumer and the Army Corps of Engineers are determined to close this breach and will use whatever tactics they can to do so, fear, threats, planting articles at friendly publications. Even Newsday had to report that thus far the breach at The Old Inlet has not increased tides or floods in The Great South Bay while also helping to clean a part of the bay in desperate need of it.
The decision whether to close the breach rests, despite all, with The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (The DEC). It is they who would have to request the Army Corps of Engineers to close it. The corps has been its usual heavy handed self here. But the DEC must look to the recently released NYS2100 plan http://www.governor.ny.gov/assets/documents/
The Great South Bay has already been decimated by decades of mismanagement and greed. It’s been overclammed, overfished, polluted by the hundreds of thousands of septic tanks in Suffolk, choked with brown and red tides, triggered by our love for lawn fertilizers that are toxic to the water, we’ve bulldozed and filled in marshes and shorelines. The ponds, streams, and rivers feeding the bay are increasingly polluted. Hurricane Sandy comes along and reopens a breach closed for 175 years. Clean, oxygenated water begins to flush the bay.
Marine biologists unanimously see this as a gift to the bay — a chance to restart, to possibly restore fishing and shellfishing, and perhaps the bay itself. In the meantime, there’s a big pot of federal money to be divvied up. Those living along The Great South Bay and on Long Island can only hope that science will prevail over politics and NYS decides to leave the breach open — UNLESS it does indeed start to pose a threat by expanding to the point where it would in fact endanger nearby towns. Right now the there’s no evidence to support that, and looking ahead, we anticipate the Old Inlet to shoal up during the summer months in any case.
To rebuild the bay, we need to go where the science takes us. If you want to restore ecosystems, speak to the experts.