1. 80% of Fire Island is public park land and will remain open and undeveloped space? (That includes a National Seashore, a state park, a county park, and a couple of Town parks.)
2. Only 20% of Fire Island is developed with approximately 4,000 usable lots in 17 small communities? The homes in these communities offer the major rental resource for public access.
3. The 17 communities, through the Fire Island Association, were the primary movers to create the Fire Island National Seashore in 1964? That insured protection of all undeveloped land on the Island.
4. Thirteen communities have standing erosion control taxing districts that pay for nourishing community beaches and dunes? These districts invest more than $1.5 million every year to build the barrier Fire Island at no cost to the general public outside of Fire Island.
5. The Westhampton groinfield, started in 1964, was left unfilled with sand, and that Fire Island was thus deprived of many millions of cubic yards of sand over the last 35 years? That’s enough for an entire dune system and another 100 yards of width of the beach!
6. Congress authorized an erosion control plan in 1960 for Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point? The FIA has been working to get it back on track. In the meantime, our “Interim Plan” has been designed to place sand on 12 miles of Fire Island, including six miles of that for the Fire Island National Seashore.
7. All Fire Island beaches are open to visitors without the need for special beach passes or payment for use?
8. Fire Island is free of all but essential vehicle travel? Almost all visits are by ferry boats. (Homeowners created the National Seashore and fought against a highway running the length of Fire Island in that homeowners highly valued the island’s natural, undeveloped beauty.
9. 64% of Fire Island homeowners, when told of the “Interim Plan” voted to increase their taxes to pay for 50% of the local Suffolk County share of project costs? This would impose taxes on the FT homeowners of approximately $127 for every $1 paid by other county taxpayers to cover the costs of strengthening the barrier beach, which also protects property north of the Great South Bay.
10. The Army Corps and New York State can only provide shore protection where the value of public infrastructure protection at least equals the cost of doing the projects? Also, the projects must be environmentally benign.
This summarizes the environmental conscience of Fire Island homeowners who largely created the National Seashore to halt over development of the island. Now these homeowners seek to rebuild the natural barrier of protection by replacing much of the sand not allowed to pass the sand blockers of Westhampton’s groinfield, and Moriches Inlet.