This month marks 10 years since Superstorm Sandy made landfall in our region. In those 10 years, we have made great strides as a community to ensure we plan for an increase in the number and intensity of coastal storms.

While there is plenty more work to be done, the Town’s recently adopted Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Plan is a huge step in the right direction. We must work together to make Montauk more resilient! 

With gratitude,
Laura Tooman | President
October marks the 10th year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy and the devastation and loss of life that occurred here in Montauk on Oct 29th, 2012. Since that time CCOM has been leading the charge to help achieve sustainable coastal resiliency planning and has been instrumental in the recent adoption by East Hampton Town of the Coastal Assessment and Resiliency Plan (C.A.R.P). This plan now serves to inform all local planning decisions required to ensure we are a climate-resilient community.

Among the eight specific recommendations that East Hampton Town has now agreed to implement are:
  1. A review of East Hampton Town’s building and zoning flood protection codes to establish a Design Flood Elevation (DFE) that incorporates sea level rise and Coastal AE zones
  2. Shoreline setback review and regulation, along with a program of beach, dune, and bluff restoration and maintenance and enhancement to reduce the rate of shoreline erosion. These recommendations are outlined in further detail here.

And on Oct 13th, CCOM hosted a Coastal Resilience Webinar with more than 50 participants to review and discuss this work. The webinar can be viewed here.
Last May more than 7,000 native plants were placed in floating mats with the goal of minimizing the risk of harmful algal blooms in Fort Pond. Algae thrive when there is an excess of nutrients (like nitrogen and phosphorus). As the native plants mature their roots grow, which enables them to take up nutrients as food. As such, native plants reduce the amount of food that is available for harmful algae and can reduce blooms.

On October 22nd, thirty-five volunteers showed up at the Fort Pond boat landing to help winterize our floating wetlands. The reusable mats were towed to shore, the plants removed, and the mats pressure washed. This video showcases the dedication our volunteers have to the community and the future of Fort Pond.  

Most plants were donated to the Montauk Community Garden; however, some were saved for analysis by the Gobler Lab. We will be working with them to estimate how much nitrogen and phosphorus was removed from Fort Pond by the floating wetlands.

We are so thankful for all the volunteers that helped! We couldn't have done it without you. Thank you!
We were pleasantly surprised to find several freshwater bryozoans attached to the underside of the mats. They look like gelatinous blobs, but their presence is a sign of a healthy ecosystem! Each colony can be made up of hundreds to thousands of microscopic animals, called zooids, and they grow together to form a unique rosette pattern. Bryozoans can filter large amounts of algae from the water making their existence on our mats even more conducive to decreasing harmful algal blooms. All of them were released back into the water.
The preparatory work on land for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) that will be used to install the transmission cable under the beach in Wainscott has begun. The cable will carry power from the offshore wind farm to the East Hampton sub-station and the HDD setup is being mobilized now. According to permit requirements, drilling can begin after Nov. 1st. Remember that the cable will be set approximately 80 feet under the beach (far enough under the sand that there will be no/minimal impacts on the beach).

Work on town roads has begun again after pausing for the summer, as required by project permits and approvals. Installation of cables and underground vaults is well underway along the transmission route between Beach Lane and the PSEG substation.

Seaward, a jack-up barge will arrive to support the HDD work in mid-November and remain through January. It will be stationed just over one-third of a mile from shore. The vessel carrying the submarine cable will arrive around early March. The turbine foundations will be installed beginning in May. The turbines will be placed on the foundation in August, and the project finished by the end of 2023.
The installation of a temporary sound wall will protect residents from undue disturbance during construction.
A Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) with a boulder pick, lights, and cameras will be used to move boulders.
On November 8th, there will be an important ballot proposition on the back of your ballot. The proposition, Prop 1, is called the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022.

It authorizes up to $4.2 billion of State bonds to be used on the following types of capital improvement projects:

  • restoration and flood risk reduction 
  • climate change mitigation
  • water quality improvement and resilient infrastructure 
  • open space lane conservation and recreation 

Voting in support of Prop 1 can help ensure New York communities, including Montauk, will see additional funding to support much-needed water quality, coastal resiliency, and clean energy projects. Additional information can be found here.

Don’t forget to vote! Whether you vote via absentee ballot, vote early, or on Election Day, your voice matters! 
As the temperatures and leaves continue to drop there are several ways to be conscious of the environment. One way is to leave the leaves. Fallen leaves may seem like an additional chore as it is customary to rake them into piles to get rid of. However, did you know that dead leaves are an essential part of the natural cycles of soils and plants?

Leaves are packed with nutrients that trees draw up from deep in the soil. When leaves fall, they return the nutrients to the soil and encourage healthy microbial activity. Removing dead leaves from this cycle can decrease the soil’s health. Consider never removing the leaves and using your lawn mower to chop them up instead. Not only will it provide excellent nitrogen and organic matter, but it will also protect root systems and preserve soil moisture.
Saturday, November 5th | 10AM – 12PM | Montauk Geology | Montauk Lighthouse

If you love Montauk, don't miss this opportunity to take a walking tour with a preeminent coastal geologist, Dr. J. Bret Bennington. Learn everything you always wanted to know about Montauk's natural history, ecology, and geology.

Please join us on November 5th for an extraordinary and rare opportunity. Dr. J. Bret Bennington, Professor of Geology and Chair of the Department of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability at Hofstra University is a renowned teacher and researcher who specializes in the geology of Long Island and paleontology. In other words, he’s a rock star of rocks, sediment, fossils, and more.

His current project is looking into Cretaceous marine communities and environments on the Atlantic Coastal Plain (in technospeak, the analysis of predation on fossil oysters, tetrapod and dinosaur trackways, and the glacial geomorphology and history of Long Island).  

This leisurely walking tour of about an hour and a half will begin near the Montauk lighthouse and will take us along the southern shore from the lighthouse as Dr. Bennington points out Gardiner clay deposits, projecting and fallen erratics, and – who knows? - we might discover signs of dinosaurs! 

  1. This is a rain-or-shine event.
  2. Space is limited, please
  3. Meet at Montauk Lighthouse Parking Lot (parking fee = $8)

In the event of rain, please phone Ed Johann (631-488-5900) to be directed to an alternate, indoor site for a wide-ranging discussion and presentation of Montauk's ecology with Dr. Bennington and staff & board members of THNC & CCOM.

For more information, visit our events page.
Get a head start on holiday shopping! Give a gift that gives back to Montauk!
Check out our website's SHOP PAGE or save on shipping and stop by the office at 6 Elmwood Ave.!

Do you love Montauk? Be part of an organization fighting to protect and restore Montauk’s precious environment!
CCOM is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit environmental organization. Thanks to our donors, we have been protecting Montauk's unique environment since 1970. Please consider making a 100% tax-deductible donation today.