The National Park service prefers to leave the Old Inlet Breach alone unless they are forced to close it. At least that is the way they are leaning as we head into the public review period ending December 12.
Almost four years after Hurricane Sandy carved out a new breach on Fire Island across from Bellport, The National Park Service has released the Draft Wildnerness Breach Managment Plan / Environmental Impact Statement.
For some background on the inlet and what the debate has been about, please see this recent story: New York Times Tours Old Inlet with Save the Great South Bay and Great South Bay Images
The entire 186 page report can be seen here.
According the Press Release, the Park Service has identified three alternatives:
Alternative 1 (Closure Using Mechanical Processes) would mechanically close the breach as soon as possible.
Alternative 2 (Status Determined Entirely by Natural Processes) is the no-action alternative; this alternative would allow the management of the breach under natural processes, to include evolution and potential growth and/or natural closure.
Alternative 3 (No Human Intervention unless Established Criteria are Exceeded), the proposed action, is identified as the Seashore’s preferred alternative.
The full press release from the Park Service can be seen here.
Many groups of environmentalists, scientists, and local politicians have supported leaving the breach alone and have noted a big improvement in water quality in the Great South Bay in the vicinity of the breach.
The National Park Service and Fire Island National Seashore invitesyou to attend a public meeting on November 7, 2016 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm at the Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal at 150 West Ave in Patchogue, New York.
More details on the meeting here.
Written comments can be submitted either through this website or via postal letter. Comments will only be accepted during the public review period which ends December 12, 2016. Comments must be submitted or be postmarked by midnight on December 12, 2016 to be considered. Please reference this project by name on all hardcopy correspondence. Mail hardcopy correspondence to Chris Soller, Superintendent, Fire Island National Seashore, 120 Laurel Street, Patchogue, NY 11772.