Protecting Montauk’s Coastline Is in Your Hands
Rising sea level, erosion and increasingly powerful storms are threatening Montauk’s coastline and built infrastructure. Our community must come together to protect ecological and economic resources. CCOM is leading the effort to create a Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Plan (CARP) in order to:
- Expedite public funding for environmentally responsible climate adaptation planning
- Create a plan that preserves Montauk’s natural coastline, developed areas and infrastructure
- Protect our community and environment by preserving our natural resources
Montauk’s beaches are a critical natural and economic resource. Protecting Montauk’s natural shoreline requires working with all stakeholders and levels of government to build large-scale beach nourishment projects and create polices, incentives and funding mechanisms that promote moving back from the shore and elevating built infrastructure.
A Comprehensive Coastal Plan Is Underway
CCOM is calling for the creation of a broad sandy beach using sand pumped from offshore while at the same time leading the “Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Planning” process (CARP) – with key partners and East Hampton Town. The goal is to update and strengthen the Town’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) adopted in 2007, and other town policies. CCOM will continue to advocate for scientific and professional expertise to guide the development of a community-based plan.
- Relocation of vulnerable infrastructure
- Establishment of a local tax district to contribute to a beach nourishment project
- Continue advocacy and partnering with EH town, other environmental organizations, businesses and the community to ensure public input to CARP planning
- Encourage EH Town to pursue external funding opportunities and/or budget allocations for CARP development and project implementation
- Continue chairing the EH Town Coastal Committee to enable community recommendations for long range coastal planning for Montauk and East Hampton Town
The Plan Is Yours
A successful plan is one that our community believes in and supports. We need your help over the next year as this issue will be at the forefront of local news and discussion.
We need your voice to help spread the message about what constitutes an environmentally sound plan and how we can achieve it. It’s our pledge to continue to be the voice for a realistic and achievable plan for Montauk.
What is ACE?
The Army Corps of Engineers project currently underway in Downtown Montauk is a complicated issue. The Town of East Hampton has put together a FAQ sheet on their website.
What is FIMP?
According to ACE, the purpose of “The Fire Island to Montauk Point Reformulation Study (FIMP)” is to identify, evaluate and recommend long-term solutions for hurricane and storm damage reduction within the floodplain extending along 83-miles of ocean and bay shorelines from Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point. The Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Environmental Conservation are the agencies developing this study. However the much anticipated “reformulation study” includes the participation of Federal, State and local government agencies, as well as major scientific and environmental organizations. To ensure objectivity and high standards, these studies are also being independently reviewed.
CCOM is pushing hard for the long-awaited FIMP presentation for spring 2016 and is monitoring and participating in all ACE proposals and meetings so we can help inform the community of our findings.
What are the LWRP & CARP?
The Town of East Hampton’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP), adopted in 2007, is the Town’s coastal management blueprint. It is a comprehensive examination of the Town’s coastal resources and management practices. The LWRP coordinates local and state policies for commercial and recreational uses of the coast.
As explained above, East Hampton Town will prepare and implement a Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Plan (CARP) building on the long-term comprehensive planning work previously conducted by the Town LWRP.
The plan will outline strategies for dealing with:
- Coastal storms
- Erosion, sea level rise and protecting beaches
- Significant habitats
- Natural features
- Built environment
Protection strategies to be examined and evaluated include:
- Natural resource restoration
- Land acquisition
- Flood-proofing structures including sanitary systems, power substations, railroad & airport infrastructure
- Elevating or relocating buildings
- Buyouts of threatened properties
- Coastal reefs
Based on these evaluations, a coastal resiliency plan including policies, incentives and regulations will be developed. In addition to the mitigation strategies enumerated above, tools will be developed to adapt to sea level rise and increased winds and storm surge from coastal storms. Such tools will include:
- Changes to zoning
- Subdivision code standards
- Architectural and design guidelines
- Building code modifications
- Creation of special assessment and erosion districts as a means of increasing resiliency over time.
Over the next year, there are going to be many Town meetings on this issue. We ask that you attend these meetings and participate in the process. Be heard. Share information with your neighbors. Public opinion is important and now is a crucial time to get it right.
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