Facts: 2018 Cuomo Priority: Full PCB Clean Up of the Hudson River Cuomo Announces $10.4 Mil to Clean LI’s Waters With Shellfish A New …
he die offs of vegetation (marshes, eel grass, sea grass) and wildlife (fish, shellfish, birds, insects, amphibians and reptiles) have been stunning. Whole habitats are vanishing before our eyes. At the same time, that nitrogen is seeping ever more deeply into our drinking water into the aquifer that sits below us, with water deposited there by glacier melt eons ago.
Not only are nitrogen rates rising, but the rate of the rise is too, as the plume of nitrogen created by the explosive population growth on Post War Long Island, much unsewered, has generated a plume of nitrogen that is now making its way downward into our drinking water.
Many of us (about 35 based on RSVPs, seeing people there) attended "Sandy's Silver Lining," A Public Forum on The Breach, held at Bellport Middle School on the 21st between 9:30 - 12:00. The response was strong even though it was the last shopping weekend before Christmas; this issue is still front and center for us, and so about 200 showed in total. Thomas Bruckner should be singled out as having done a marvelous job assembling the panel, and in the presentation, with informative segues between speakers where he showed pics and video from his some 30 trips to the breach / inlet. He's a natural MC. The sound system was out of whack, but we will get this fixed for next time, for yes, there will be next times, as what Commissioner Soller had to say make clear.
Scott Gerber got these magnificent shots of The Old Inlet from his 1946 Piper Cub.
As we began to learn about the breach, how barrier beaches in fact behave and evolve, and began to see how it was actually a lifeline for an otherwise dying bay, saw that it was flushing Bellport Bay especially, and bringing back the bay we knew, we began to use the term 'breach' ironically. "Life's a Breach!" reads one bumper sticker. Against all the hysteria leveled at it, people posted 'The Breach ate my baby!,' or 'The Breach cheats at golf,' or 'The Breach stole my woman!" We will be having a Breach Party this Saturday in fact, keeping with the spirit of this.
has been monitoring the breach since Sandy, measuring tides, as well as the depth and breadth of The Breach/New Inlet on a monthly basis. Here then is their June 28th report, which presents what the current conditions are there, comparing them to how they were over the past 7 months. This regular analysis is crucial, since there will be some decision taken on the fate of The Breach / New Inlet soon. Whatever decision the NYSDEC makes needs to be based on science, rather than politics. Is the breach getting bigger? Is it at all increasing the likelihood / intensity of flooding on The Great South Bay? And what of the benefits? What does this influx of clean ocean water mean for The Great South Bay and the towns of The South Shore?
Sez “Surf FireIsland”: “Epic fluke fishing happening in the bay right now. Thanks to new inlet for making the bay full of life again!” …
Michael certainly had a busy weekend. He has for us and today's breach report a video and a slide show of the dismantling of the Pattersquash Gunner's Association Club House, which rested on Pelican Island until Sandy and The New Inlet washed her off the island and into Bellport Bay. He also brought his camera down in 4 feet of water to document the clearer, cleaner water that The New Inlet is bringing to Bellport Bay and the Eastern Great South Bay.
Since Sandy, Michael has been steadily chr0ncling what The New Inlet has brought to the eastern Great South Bay - the osprey, the seals, fish of all kinds. We have devoted a whole page to him on this site. He in turn has launched Great South Bay Images. By going through his archives you will see how The New Inlet has evolved, and the changes it has brought. You will also experience the sheer beauty of this rare natural event - a barrier beach and a bay revitalizing through the creation of a new inlet -- and of our Great South Bay itself and its wildlife.
Here then is a slide show of the club's dismantling and removal:
Michael Busch of Great South Bay Images took this shot of The Pattersquash Gunner's Association clubhouse, which sits right now in the middle of a system of shoals, sandbars, and channels that is the New Inlet. As you can see, much of the water is quite shallow. Sandbar islands have emerged, and shift now as The New Inlet shoals up and drifts slowly westward. Some intrepid soul came to the clubhouse, probably by kayak, and planted this flag.
This is NOT something Save The Great South Bay would ever endorse -- trying to navigate in these shifting shallows and strong currents -- but we have to admit it made for a great picture.
With the twice daily flushing of Bellport Bay from the tides and The New Inlet, we are seeing bay bottom hidden for decades, flounder, bluefish, weakfish. And unlike Shinnecock and Moriches Bay, which don't properly flush, and where nitrogen pollution from septic tanks, lawn fertilizers and farms gathers to feed algal blooms, and with increasing intensity year by year, we have thus far seen NO BROWN TIDES.
Further research via old maps showed that in the 1790's it was referred to as "The New Inlet at South Haven," gaining the name The Old Inlet only after it was closed by two ship wrecks in the 1820s. So what was new is now new again. The bay is renewing itself with the inlet's reopening. Even so, The Army Corps of Engineers continues to press for closure, as to presumably the politicians who continue to ignore science in favor of 'doing something.' It is our hope that this new New Inlet will remain with us, hopefully so long as nature deems it, and will continue to revitalize the Eastern Bay, repairing at least some of the damage we've caused from decades of mismanagement and neglect. We hope that it can buy us enough time to address the many water quality issues on the Long Island mainland that led to the bay's deterioration -- seepage from 100,000+ septic tanks, storm runoff from 2000+ outfall pipes that wash into our streams and into our bays 115 different pesticides, lawn fertilizer, the destruction of marshes and eelgrass beds.
Here's an amazing shot of the breach as it was being formed during Hurricane Sandy, photographed by our own Michael Busch. Those aren't dunes behind the Pattersquash club house -- those are waves!
The Breach / New Inlet Forming During Hurricane Sandy