The dune restoration project, FIMI, is largely complete in the western part of Fire Island through Ocean Beach. The eastern communities are the next phase. Appraisals and offers for the easements in the Eastern communities are being prepared for final review and approval by the Army Corps and the County. The federal government has allocated $68 million for the real estate work in the eastern communities, which is to cover payments for everything from easements where there is no conflict, to properties where entire houses have to be moved.
The dredging of the channel from Sayville to the Pines is underway. The work is being done by the Suffolk County Department of Public Works. The project is occurring over 12 days and will complete December 20. Gibson & Cushman is the contractor. A similar project was conducted in Water Island prior to the Pines. The dredging will remove approximately 10,000 cubic yards of sand from the
northern side of our harbor, the mouth of the harbor and approximately 250 feet north of the mouth. Low tide depths around the mouth will increase from 1-2 feet to 8-10 feet, making access for boats, big and small, much improved. Commercial operators like Coastline, Sayville Ferry and Tony's Barge will benefit from this project, especially in winter months when the tides are more extreme, as will larger recreational boaters in summer months who are less familiar with the idiosyncrasies of accessing our harbor. To put the scale of this project into perspective, previous community dredging projects removed only 200-300 yards of sand. The spoil site chosen in cooperation with the National Park Service is just west of the Pines community along the bay shore to Cherry Grove.
We have had our first meeting with
of Westhampton Beach, the contractor for the Harbor Reconstruction Project. The contractor is now mobilizing equipment and material for the project and construction will begin January 2. 2017. The contractor will first do the bulkhead
Photo courtesy of Larry Tallamy
west of the ferry pier and then the pier. Upon completion of the ferry pier, construction will begin on the bulkhead to the east and then the freight dock. The contractor is shooting for a completion date at the beginning of April. The contractor has been made aware repeatedly of our concern for the cherry trees. They have promised to do their best to protect them. The Town has asked that residents not call the contractor. The Brookhaven project manager is Rob Magg of the Parks Department. He promises to be on site three days a week. Weather and ice will play a role in this work. We are hoping for minimal impact on the wildlife that pass through the harbor plaza.
On Tuesday, December 6th, I attended the Stonewall Community Foundation awards ceremony. These awards were made in part with funds generated by the Pines Party. Awards were made to these grantees:
* Two-Spirit Health Services
* The Center for Anti-Violence Education (also funded in 2015)
* Dominican Women's Development Center
* Global Action Project
Stonewall has a comprehensive program for advertising and processing grant applications. It also monitors the grant and works with many of the grantees to help them develop their institutional capacity. It was thrilling for me to see emblazoned on the screen throughout the program the words: "Special thanks to our 2016 partner Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association"
The nearly completed New York City AIDS Memorial at 12th Street and 7th Avenue was recently
The New Yorker
. The article extensively quotes FIPPOA Director Eric Sawyer. Sawyer is a Board Member of the Memorial, a founder of Act Up and a founder of Housing Works. Eric Sawyer is certainly a community minded citizen of whom the Pines can be very proud.