Getting Fire Island Beach Ready for Summer Season 2009
A massive project has been underway during the past winter months and into 2009. The beach nourishment project started finally, after a few months of delays. Permit processes from several agencies such as, Department of the Interior, National Park Service, and Army Corps of Engineers slowed down the start of this project which has been calculated to cost around $25 million.
Weeks Marine Inc. from Cranford New Jersey was hired as the contractor to complete the project, and they have been working on the island steadily with a few “inconveniences” that were resolved promptly and did not affect the timeline and scope for completion deadlines.
The main goal of the beach nourishment project is to aid in the protection of Fire Island, a barrier beach island (which in turn protects the Long Island South Shore) from erosion resulting from storms for a period of about five years. The project added almost 2 million cubic yards of sand, moved from an off-shore sandbar and distributed among 11 of the island’s communities. Sand for the project was dredged and pumped in to shore from sea floor “borrow areas” about a mile south, and distributed among badly eroded sections of beach.
The beach nourishment project is expected to be completed before the summer season begins receiving residents and vacationers,and everyone will have a marvelous welcome waiting or them enjoy the coming summer season. The beach is wider in several communities already. The beach nourishment project is also expected to be finished before the piping plovers commence their annual nesting on Fire Island. Luckily the work did not interfere with residents and services, who are allowed to drive on the beach during the winter months.