FI Ferry Hike Proposed

By Timothy Bolger, Fire Island News, March 12, 2015

Ferry riders may soon pay a dollar more for each trip across the Great South Bay, if Suffolk County lawmakers grant a request by Fire Island’s largest ferry and lone water-taxi company.

Fire Island Ferries, the Bay Shore-based company serving the eight westernmost communities, requested an 11-percent fare hike, which would bring the current $17 round-trip fare to $19 and the current one-way fare from $9 to $10. The company’s water taxi arm requested an estimated 18-percent increase, with hikes varying with distance. The company petitioned the county for the fare hike in January with the goal of getting approval in time for Memorial Day.Three years after superstorm Sandy, Fire Island continues to rebuild. Prices remain flat—good news for anyone looking for a summer getaway.

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Fire Island’s Sandy Comeback

By JOSH BARBANEL March 4, 2015 for the Wall Street Journal

Three years after superstorm Sandy, Fire Island continues to rebuild. Prices remain flat—good news for anyone looking for a summer getaway.

Fashion designer Sully Bonnelly owns a modernist beach house on Fire Island with a double-height, glass-walled living room and space for sculptures collected from his travels around the world. He also knows it comes with a risk.

When superstorm Sandy struck the 32-mile-long barrier island on the south shore of Long Island in October 2012, his house on high ground was spared. But hundreds of others were flooded and some of the nearby dunes and beach washed away.

Even now, three years later, the real-estate market in Fire Island rests on a fulcrum of risk and reward. “It is not for the fainthearted,” said Suzy Goldhirsch, president of the Fire Island Association, a community organization. “But there is a stunning quality of beauty.…There will always be people who want to live there.”

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Ocean Beach on Fire Island inundated with coastal floodwaters

By Joan Gralla for Newsday This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Updated December 9, 2014 6:44 PM 

Floodwaters in Ocean Beach on Fire Island topped 2 feet during Tuesday's nor'easter, washing into a few homes and stores, the town's fire chief said."This is probably the worst since Sandy," Ocean Beach Fire Chief Ian Levine said, referring to the superstorm of October 2012. "We've got over 2 feet of water in town and in stores.

Mayor James S. Mallott cautioned that the floodwaters might linger on land a few days."It was over my knees, it was almost up to my waist in certain spots," in downtown Ocean Beach, Levine said. "This water will probably be here two to three days," he said. "Once it calms down and the bay gets back to normal height, we'll get draining, and by Saturday the sun will be shining and the birds will be singing."

On Tuesday emergency vehicles found it difficult to navigate Burma Road, the route that runs down the barrier island's backbone, partly due to a couple of overwashes during high tide, he said.

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Field Investigations at Fire Island, New York, to Better Understand Hurricane Sandy’s Impacts and Support Studies of Coastal Resilience

By Cheryl Hapke, Owen Brenner, and M. Dennis Krohn       Sept/Oct 2014 Sound Waves Newsletter 

In response to Hurricane Sandy, which struck the U.S. east coast in October 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is engaged in a research project that examines the coastal dynamics of Fire Island, a 50-kilometer (30 mile)-long barrier island south of Long Island, New York. The research will provide basic scientific information on coastal evolution and recovery, and will aid mitigation efforts and management planning.

From June 9 through June 25, 2014, Cheryl Hapke, a coastal geologist from the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center in St. Petersburg, Florida (SPCMSC), led a comprehensive field effort to map changes and collect baseline geologic data from the coastline affected by Hurricane Sandy. Hapke had been conducting research on Fire Island before Hurricane Sandy (see Fire Island Coastal Change) as part of the USGS Coastal Change Processes project, and she served as a subject-matter expert at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hurricane Sandy Joint Field Office in New York during the post-storm response to Sandy. Hapke and USGS personnel also conducted immediate post-storm coastal-change assessments (see USGS Open-File Report 2013–1231 and “USGS Scientists Predict, Measure Sandy’s Impacts on the Coastal Landscape,” Sound Waves, November/December 2012).

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Home buyout offers for Fire Island dune project expected in 2 months

Dec. 4, 2014       by JOAN GRALLA / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Owners of 41 oceanfront Fire Island homes slated for demolition to clear the path for a federally funded dune project can expect buyout offers in about two months, a Suffolk County official said this week. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers devised the $207 million project, but the county must secure the required properties and 421 easements needed to build and maintain the barrier island's dunes.

The county has scheduled a public hearing on the project for Dec. 30. The 7 p.m. hearing will be held at Suffolk County Community College's Brentwood campus in the Van Nostrand Theatre.

After the hearing, the county, which repeatedly has warned it will condemn properties if necessary, has 90 days to issue a report authorizing its use of those powers.

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