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Nov 30, 2015 10:13 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Judge Denies Injunction On Montauk Project

A judge has denied an injunction against the Montauk shoreline project. KYRIL BROMLEY
Dec 1, 2015 5:55 PM

A federal judge this week denied an injunction request by opponents of a beach stabilization project under way in Montauk.

District Court Judge Arthur D. Spatt agreed with a magistrate’s recommendation from earlier this month that the injunction not be issued, even though it would mean the project will likely be completed while a lawsuit challenging the legality of the project’s approval is still pending.

Judge Spatt echoed Magistrate Judge Anne Shields’s findings that the Army Corps had thoroughly considered the environmental impacts of the project and properly applied state and local regulatory requirements.

Judge Shields had said the project did not have to be considered in the same light as a permanent structure because the sandbags are seen as being a potentially removable, temporary edifice. Opponents of the project have decried that assessment, saying that the bags will be no different from concrete when hit by waves and would carry the same negative environmental impacts as a permanent seawall, and thus should be considered as such.

The federal Army Corps of Engineers designed the project, which will bury more than 14,000 sandbags in the beachhead across 3,200 feet of downtown Montauk, from Kirk Park east to Lowenstein Court.

The project was approved by the State Department of Environmental Conservation and endorsed by Suffolk County and the East Hampton Town Board, which have agreed to pay annual maintenance costs to keep the sandbag revetment covered with sand as erosion washes away the initial covering.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, an environmental group called Defend H20 and members of the local Surfrider Foundation chapter, have sued the Army Corps, state and town, claiming the approvals of the project violated the town’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan.

More than two years in the offing, when the project finally got under way last month, the sight of a backhoe carving a gouge into the natural dunes along Kirk Park sparked outrage from Montauk residents. Protests that followed led to the arrest of at least a dozen people—several of whom were to appear in court on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile the excavation work along the Montauk oceanfront continued early this week. Excavators have continued to dig the 50-foot-wide and 20-foot-deep trench eastward from the terminus of South Elmwood Avenue, and have begun laying the base frame and layer for the giant sandbags, known as Geocubes, that will fill the trench and then be covered with the excavated sand.

The project’s initial completion date was January 31, but it is not clear whether the protest will cause that date to be pushed back.

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Mother Nature will be the final judge on this matter..
By H2O (83), easthampton on Nov 30, 15 10:21 PM
And they really believe the Army Corps of Engineers....are they going to be responsible for the damage and loss of revenue this will cause????? Just can't believe you are that stupid��������
By sandydog21 (181), Southampton on Nov 30, 15 11:14 PM
And I suppose you have a PH.D in coastal engineering? Half of these nit wits laying down in front of the bulldozers are trust fund brats who barely finished High School! Mother Nature will indeed be the final judge. I do not profess to know anything about coastal geology but intelligent enough to know that if downtown Montauk gets washed away, my home value(not near the water) will be greatly depreciated. Who would want to buy in Montauk with no place to shop, have a drink, eat out, etc?
By mtkfish (57), montauk on Dec 1, 15 11:08 AM
1 member liked this comment
what about the other half of them?

p.s.

i also like your 'i dont know but i know' approach to the argument. cute.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (340), southampton on Dec 1, 15 1:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
Have yo looked at Top Sail NC??
By sandydog21 (181), Southampton on Dec 2, 15 7:18 AM
shore hardening structures increase erosion both directly in front of, and down drift from said structures.It ain't rocket science!
By bigfresh (2754), north sea on Dec 1, 15 11:12 AM
1 member liked this comment
the beach along mecox to sagg main has been reclaimed by much sand and has done very wellover the past 2 year. many homeowners buried the sand bags in front of houses (with permits???) and the added sand has now created a large beachfront. have the montauk people looked at this very well done situation along the beach in Bridgehampton??
By xtiego (574), bridgehampton on Dec 1, 15 7:38 PM