On the Montauk Beach front | The East Hampton Star

There has really in no way been any query about the correct point to do where by the Montauk downtown ocean seashore is worried. For many years, it has been noticeable that an orderly relocation of at-chance attributes would be significantly superior than waiting around for a significant hurricane strike that could level much more than a dozen vacation resort properties, driving their debris inland, and triggering hundreds of hundreds of thousands of avoidable hurt. Or, in a slower-relocating catastrophe, wintertime storms would continue on undermining the row of inns and a handful of residences, forcing taxpayers to protect the general public charge of constantly piling sand to safeguard private interests — an unsustainable proposition in the extensive run.

Time and again, town officials have been instructed what they need to do, and time and yet again they have taken the effortless path of doing almost nothing. But worse, when offered with a 50-calendar year system for phased backing away from the shore, the East Hampton Town Board panicked and dropped the most-sensible and significantly-reaching features from the ultimate draft. Performing nothing is not bravery, much from it.

This head-in-the-sand solution to controlling unavoidable coastal erosion is not new, nor is it minimal to East Hampton. However many years back, town officials adopted seemingly rough laws designed to section out homes and companies on narrowing shorelines, in observe these ended up under no circumstances used or uncovered to be unworkable. When confronted with waterfront-house house owners pleading for assistance or represented by deft lawful counsel, zoning boards have caved practically as promptly as the dunes were eaten away. For instance, procedures against creating or expanding everything outside of a specified distance from the dune crest are routinely bent with the general approval of town and village authorities. Note, too, that the New York State Division of Environmental Conservation saw trouble forward and just give up its position in coastal erosion coverage not all that lengthy ago.

Yet another instance is that “hard” buildings, these types of as rocks or sandbags, are intended to be made use of temporarily in scenario of emergencies but linger for yrs, resulting in lasting problems to downdrift houses. Yet again, the challenges have been understood for a long time the bravery to essentially do something about them has been what is missing — and so beachgoers, taxpayers, and wildlife all undergo to differing extents. People today may possibly speculate what transpired to the after-booming scallop harvest but disregard the effects of taking away much of the living foreshore on which shellfish and a host of other marine life depended. You are unable to ring an estuary with rock or toxic-laden wood seawalls and assume issues to have on as they after had been. But in a area exactly where 2nd households and vacation resort real estate is king, sacrifices have to be manufactured, proper?

This is wherever leadership or a lack thereof arrives in. Elected officials are supposed to be chosen for their willingness to occur up with answers to the thorniest dilemmas. But voters, as well, share the blame for not demanding more from their candidates. Politicians come and go, what does not are the shorelines. Downtown Montauk, perched now at the brink of disaster, ought to have built that clear.