By Mike Busch
The severe erosion occurring at Bellport Beach, about 1.5 miles west of Old Inlet, has continued to undermine the Bellport Beach pavilion and walkway leading to it. The original pavilion, built-in 1983, was not only destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, it disappeared! The newest version was completed in July of 2015 and was designed to stand the test of time with treated Douglas Fir and pilings driven 26 feet into the sand and behind the primary dune. It is hard to believe that what we are seeing today is the same structure because the entire 25 foot high dune that surrounded the pavilion is entirely gone and what is left is retreating north. I stumbled on a few photos from November 2016 below where you can see the dune right in line with the main pavilion and the walkway pilings completely buried.
Fire Island and Beyond has built up a big library of images and video as the situation has evolved, you can catch up on most of it here.
The normal summer sand buildup didn’t really happen this year and the Fall has not been kind. While open and deemed safe all summer, storms starting in September first took out the stairs to the beach, followed by the partial collapse of the some of the walkway that attaches to the building. It is now once again closed to the public and officials are taking a wait and see approach. The main structure still appears level and stable but as you will see below, is dangerously close to the ocean and certainly in jeopardy going forward.
The video above and images below were taken on Sunday November 25th as after another coastal low brought in big surf and high tides. If this weather pattern continues it is going to be a tough winter for this stretch of Fire Island.
Continued on Pages 2,3, and 4