News from FINS on Community Beach Protection Projects

The following is from Fire Island National Seashore.
For more information go to http://www.nps.gov/fiis/parknews/upload/FINS_PressRelease08-20_BeachNourishmentFONSIs_12-19-2008.pdf

Beach Nourishment Projects To Begin on Fire Island;

Work Expected to be Completed by the end of March 2009

Several beach nourishment projects on Fire Island are scheduled to begin by late December or early January.  The projects, which are being undertaken by Suffolk County and eleven Fire Island communities, are expected to be completed by March 31, 2009.  A pre-construction meeting for the projects was held on December 10, 2008 to finalize strategies for undertaking the approved projects. Authorized driving on Fire Island, which is limited to permitted vehicles only, is not expected to be affected by the projects.  Work is also expected to be completed before piping plovers begin their annual nesting on Fire Island.

The short-term beach nourishment projects being undertaken by Smith Point County Park and the Fire Island communities are not associated with the Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point Reformulation Plan (FIMP). Partial funding for the projects has come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) who is working with the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO), with remaining funds coming from Fire Island community erosion control tax district funds, and from Suffolk County.

The Fire Island communities and the county park lie within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore. Therefore, the National Park Service (NPS) has been involved in the review and approval of these projects including mitigation requirements to address endangered species and other resource impact issues.  The approval process includes environmental monitoring during the entire project.

Fire Island National Seashore's superintendent, Chris Soller, said after last week's meeting,   "I appreciate the cooperation being demonstrated by the communities, Suffolk County, the other public agencies, project consultants and contractors, to help ensure that Fire Island’s natural resources and processes are respected as a part this project."

Fire Island National Seashore, as one of 391 units of the National Park System, is to be managed for current use and enjoyment in such a manner as to assure that it is passed unimpaired to future generations. As part of the National Park Service’s procedures to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, the NPS provided various ways for public review of the environmental assessments for these two projects.