The entrance to Goldsmith Inlet in Peconic | Courtesy Group to Save Goldsmith Inlet
The entrance to Goldsmith Inlet in Peconic | Courtesy Group to Save Goldsmith Inlet

What’s to be done about the constantly changing dynamics of the entrance to Goldsmith Inlet in Peconic? Southold Town wants to know your thoughts.

Town Supervisor Scott Russell and County Legislator Al Krupski are holding a meeting with residents this morning, Aug. 24, to discuss the findings of a report on how to improve water quality and tidal flushing in the inlet, due to the high level of bacteria in the interior of the inlet and neighboring Autumn Pond. More background information on the inlet is available here.

The study of the changing sediment flow patterns in the inlet was conducted beginning in October of last year by the firm eDesign Dynamics in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension, using money made available by a Suffolk County grant to the town.

The report found that major storms, including Hurricane Sandy and a nor’easter in early November 2012, played a significant role in the shifting of sands within the inlet. It also found that the velocity of water coming into the inlet is greater than the velocity coming out of the inlet, leading to the deposit of sediments just inside and to the east of the inlet, which is also impeding water flow.

The report cautions against removing the spit of sand on the outer east side when dredging the inlet, which has just one jetty on the west side, because the eastern spit helps keep water with sand in it from flowing into the inlet.

“It does appear that, in images taken after the spit has been removed, the beach to the east is also diminished,” reads the report. “This would be consistent with [the] assertion that the fully developed spit aids in sand bypassing from west to east, and its removal could interrupt beach accretion until some steady state is reached.”

Though eDesign representatives have suggested a second jetty to the east of the inlet may help the sand bypass the inlet, a second jetty would prove costly and would likely be a low priority for federal funding, since the inlet is not a navigable waterway.

eDesign Dynamics is working on a Recommendations and Actions Plan, which will include advice for future dredging projects at the inlet.

The meeting will be held in Room 1 of the Peconic Community Center in the old Peconic School on Peconic Lane in Peconic from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The reports are available here:

Bathymetric study and sediment monitoring report

Sediment management plan

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

3 thoughts on “Weigh in on Goldsmith Inlet study

  1. From a bird’s eye view, one will see that there are several ponds in the Goldsmith Inlet Area. This inlet clearly “wants” to close — the process of inlets opening and closing is natural. If the inlet closes and the body of water eventually becomes a freshwater pond, then freshwater plants and animals will colonize the area (dragonflies, high bush blueberries, etc). There doesn’t seem to be an endangered population of plants or animals that the public is trying to protect so spending money to keep Goldsmith’s Inlet open seems odd. The opening to the embayment at the old oyster site on Shipyard Lane in East Marion closed naturally with hardly even a mention by anyone. Ecologically, the two sites (and processes) seem the same to me.

      1. Not sure when the shipyard lane embayment closed but one could approximate the timeframe using the historic aerials available on Google Earth.

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