By Bob Stern, President

Concerned Citizens of Montauk


No one likes being the one who blurts out that there is no Santa Claus —  least of all CCOM, which is a group of neighbors of low lying coastal properties being buffeted by the likes of the “Frankenstorm” Sandy.

It would be nice if we could maintain the fiction that just dumping hundreds of tons of boulders (or cement septic rings) in front of a property would save it — and without accelerating the erosion of a neighbor’s property.

But it just isn’t possible to do that. Wish it were.  How so?

The Dutch, with the most experience in dealing with these challenges — would have done it if they could.  We should learn from them and not deceive ourselves with expensive, short term “solutions” that will ruin our beaches while we attempt to save individual properties from the inevitable.

There are three methods that the Dutch have employed:

1.    Dikes – huge seawalls that keep the ocean out.  Of course, there is no beach outside that wall and there are no waves or beaches inside it.

2.    Design buildings that can survive flooding.  These include floatable buildings that elevate above surges.

3.    Retreat.

That’s it.  If there were another way, they would’ve found it and deployed it.  The Netherlands survives.  And not with small junk shots –just dumping some boulders in front of an individual property.

Any discussion of storm preparedness for Montauk has to rely on science and experience, not Santa Claus.

That’s why we urge reasoned discussion on how we can get together as a community and design a Storm Resiliency Plan that will preserve and protect the Montauk economy that depends on its dynamic beach environment.