By Mike Busch
I got my first good look at the Old Inlet Wilderness Breach by boat on Monday April 23rd after a very tough winter including four powerful coastal storms that battered the entire south shore in March.
While each storm was unique they all had strong and sustained Northeast winds that created erosion problems from Montauk to the Rockaways. These strong winds, coupled with huge surf and high tides, caused sand to move from east to west (littoral drift). In our area, a clear example was the new sand deposited inside the east side of Moriches Inlet, resulting in an emergency dredging approval.
My fear for the last few years was that all the sand that was dropped in front of Smith Point during the last dredging project would make its way into the breach, potentially closing it. The concept is simple, sand moving east to west makes a right turn into the breach rather than flowing down the beach. While the flow still looks good, massive amounts of new sand has fanned into the bay as you will see below. Although the tide was near dead low, this is the most exposed sand I have seen to date.
The approach to the breach has become much more difficult with the channels leading to the breach all much narrower and shallower than last year. I look forward to the next report from Dr. Flagg of Stony Brook who has been monitoring the breach from a scientific perspective since it opened. I included some images and video from sea level on page 5.
More Images on Pages 2,3,4, and 5