Steps forward for East Hampton Bayside Work
The Clearwater Beach Property Owners Association was able to dredge the inlet between Gardiners Bay and Hog Creek in East Hampton this week, thanks to permit modifications enabled by Congressman Lee Zeldin, and Gerard Drive in Springs has received FEMA funding for work to elevate the two causeways there that overwash during storms.
Mr. Zeldin’s office was contacted in late 2015 by East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell and the Clearwater Beach Property Owners Association, which represents over 800 homeowners, asking for assistance in obtaining a permit modification that would allow for the dredging of the inlet.
The dredging has been performed by the Association for more than 10 years, is only normally allowed from Sept. 30 to Jan. 15 of each calendar year to protect spawning winter flounder.
Due to unfavorable weather during the late winter and early spring of 2015, the channel was filled in with coarse sand and gravel, and has become difficult to navigate.
“The shoaling at Hog Creek Inlet would have threatened the water quality of this Trustee-owned bottomland and boat access to the two marinas without this modest dredging project,” said Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell.
Also this week, East Hampton Town announced they have received FEMA funding for 90 percent of a $826,750 mitigation project to reconstruct and elevate two causeways that frequently make passage impossible during storms on Gerard Drive in Springs.
The Gerard Drive Mitigation Project is designed to reconstruct the roadway over the two causeways, elevate the road by 2 feet, and rebuild potions of the existing revetment.
“Vehicle access is often blocked by Gardiners Bay overwashing Gerard Drive during storms, restricting emergency responders and at times stranding residents in this area,” said Mr. Cantwell. “Rebuilding and elevating the road and providing better shoreline protection along the causeway will better ensure access for homeowners, beachgoers, and emergency personnel.”
The town’s Finance Department, Chief Auditor Charlene Kagel-Betts, Grants Coordinator Nicole Ficeto and Highway Superintendent Steve Lynch worked to pursue the grant. Mr. Lynch will oversee the construction, which is expected to begin and end this fall.