Fire Island/ Montauk, NY - June 23, 2016 - Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release the draft report and immediately thereafter hold public community forums regarding their plans for the Fire Island to Montauk Point (FIMP) project. Schumer pushed for and secured full federal funding for this much-needed resiliency project. Initially, the Sandy relief bill that was signed into law required only that the feds pick up 65% of the project. Immediately after the bill’s passage, Schumer began working with the Army Corps and Office of Management and Budget to lay out a strategic pathway so that the project could be considered as “ongoing construction,” and therefore eligible for full federal funding.
“Long Islanders, some of whom are still feeling the devastating impact of Superstorm Sandy, are tired of waiting on the Army Corps to share essential details on the FIMP resiliency project being planned in their community,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “The Army Corps should release the draft plan and engage with the community ASAP. Public meetings will allow residents to voice their concerns, improve the plan and ask important questions that affect their future.”
This important project, which will protect many homeowners and residents, likely wouldn’t have happened, as the cost to local governments would be too great. Despite the bill being passed into law over two years ago, the Army Corps of Engineers has not yet released details about the future coastline protection project nor have they held any public meetings. Today, Schumer said it is time for the feds to give Long Island the update it deserves and one it has been patiently awaiting.
FIMP, which Schumer has long supported, is studying storm protection measures between Fire Island and Montauk Point, including home elevations and road raisings. The Army Corps’ FIMP project for hurricane protection and beach erosion control is along five reaches of the south shore of Long Island between Fire Island Inlet and Montauk Point, a distance of approximately 83 miles. The project also authorizes federal participation in periodic beach nourishment. Major dunes and beach nourishment could commence across the south shore of Suffolk County. Though some interim construction has been completed, the project has never been fully completed.
Following passage of the Sandy-Relief Bill, Schumer pushed for and secured full federal funding for the project. Schumer pointed to the historic nature of the Eastern Long Island project, known as “Fire Island to Montauk Point” – the approximately $750 million project has been planned since 1960, but could never receive the necessary funding.
Schumer today said that the Army Corps should immediately release the draft report and provide public meetings in Long Island communities so that impacted residents can review the Army Corps plans and project alternatives and provide experts with necessary community input as they continue to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy.
Schumer’s letter to The U.S. ACOE appears below:
Dear Colonel Caldwell:
I write to urge the Army Corps of Engineers New York District (“Corps”) to release the draft General Reevaluation Report for the Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point (“FIMP”) reformulation study. The draft report should be released as soon as possible and subsequent public forums should be held by the Corps to update affected communities and solicit their feedback.
Hurricane Sandy devastated the south shore communities of Suffolk County, Long Island that are represented in the FIMP study. Immediately after the storm we worked closely to allow emergency sand replacement and dune system on Fire Island to protect Suffolk County from future storm surge. The Corps is currently undertaking this work and I applaud your efforts.
However, the long term comprehensive coastal storm risk reduction plan for Suffolk County requires the completion of protective features not just on Fire Island but also along the back bay shoreline of the mainland, which includes home elevations and road raisings. The next step in realizing this larger and long-term project is releasing the draft report and engaging with local communities during a public process. I urge the Corps to release the draft report quickly and to fully engage with the communities throughout the project scope.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer