Tag: The Army Corps of Engineers

11 results found

The Atlantic Magazine: On Long Island Coast, An Unexpected Gift From Hurricane Sandy

While Will James depicts the issue of the breach / New Inlet as an ongoing conflict, with a decision in the balance, with the environmentalists pitted against the home owners, a year on post Sandy I'd have to say that the debate over the breach is pretty much over. The public has spoken. Emails, phone calls, public meetings. Many meetings with politicians and policy makers, dozens of environmental organizations working together in support of science and the case for leaving the breach alone. We stand with our flooded neighbors, and want to see them get the help they need quickly, with the money spent wisely and the work done well. At this point, the vast majority understand that spending $20 million to plug the breach would provide absolutely no protection from the next big storm.

The article's main proponent for closing the breach is Aram Terchunian, who is described in the article as "Long Island coastal geologist who has worked as a consultant on other breach-closure projects." He is also Founder and CEO of First Coastal, a firm that has made a lot of money on Long Island over the years pushing sand around. He refers to the breach as "a giant hole" must be plugged. To quote Upton Sinclair, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" Sandy knocked Fire Island 75 feet north. It took with it 52% of Fire Island's sand. The water's coming, and spending $20 million so that a contractor fills it in (at great environmental damage to what is now by far the healthiest part of the The Great South Bay) is pure folly, and most people -- scientists and the general public -- now know that. He says "its not rocket science" to conclude filling the breach would mitigate flooding, but as he is the lone voice making the argument to close it, arrayed against a number of marine scientists with years of data at their disposal, one must ask him what kind of science he is practicing and where his data is.

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Breach Report 08-07-13 : CBS News Reports “Mounting Debate,” Features County Legislator vs. Almost Everyone Else

It has become the reflexive habit of news organizations to frame every news item as a conflict, a controversy. Without that, there is no story. You could be in a lecture hall for two and a half hours, listen to a panel, then have public statements from a crowd of 600. The one person who stands up to say that the breach must be closed because his apartment complex was flooded this winter is the person how gets surrounded by microphones. That's exactly what happened in March at a Town Hall in Bellport about The New Inlet. Nearly unanimous support after 2 1/2 hours, but I had reporters actually say to me, 'where's the conflict/story in that?' When we wade into public policy debates, where the science most matters, it is truly corrosive to science and civic life to see this happen.

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The New Inlet, Then And Now

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.

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The Environmental Defense Fund Weighs In On The Legality of Closing The Old Inlet / Breach

Last month, Jim Tripp of the The Environmental Defense Fund drafted a letter addressed to The Department of Interior, The National Parks Service, The Fire Island National Seashore, The Army Corps of Engineers, and The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. In it, he argues that The Breach Contingency Plan, adopted in 1996, extended in 2001 for another five years, then on the books but overdue for revision since 2007, must be interpreted in light of previous documents pertaining to the protection of wilderness areas, and that before any action is taken to close The Old Inlet, the following would by law have to happen:

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What Mother Nature and The New Inlet Can’t Do — A Bay in Peril

With The New Inlet, Mother Nature's true gift was to give us but a glimpse of what the Great South Bay was and could be again. It's a challenge to us to take action. Next summer, will The New Inlet even be there, whether because of nature or man? Then what? The bay starts to die again. Here's what Mother Nature alone can't fix, and what we must fix if we want this bay all the way back, New Inlet or no New Inlet:

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