Emergency dredging of the Fire Island Inlet the pumping of the removed sand to area beaches, including the Town of Babylon's Ocean Beaches, began yesterday, according to Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
The $15.2 million contract awarded by the Army Corp of Engineers will place 1.5 million cubic yards of sand from the inlet to nearby beaches, including the Town of Babylon's Gilgo and Overlook Beaches, as well as the Town of Oyster Bay's Tobay Beach.
Gilgo Beach will receive about 1.2 million cubic yards of sand dredged up from the inlet while the other two beaches will see about 200,000 cubic yards each.
Gilgo Beach was among the hardest hit of Babylon's three ocean-facing beaches, losing tens of yards of real estate to the sea when Hurricane Sandy's storm surge ripped across the barrier beaches in October 2012.
Parts of the Ocean Parkway near the beach had to be closed for months due to the extensive damaged cause by the flooding waters.
“Our barrier island beaches were hard-hit by Sandy and soon, these beaches will be well on their way to being protected against future flooding,” said Schumer. “This project is critical to Long Island because it simultaneously dredges the Fire Island Inlet while fortifying Gilgo Beach... it is gratifying to see that this work has begun.”
“With Superstorm Sandy’s devastating impact on Long Island’s shorelines, it is clear that beach replenishment is necessary, ” said Gillibrand. “Jumpstarting this Army Corps project will help fix this urgent problem before the situation worsens.”
The project, according to Gillibrand's representatives, will be funded by relief funds from Hurricane Sandy.