FIRE ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Fire Island lighthouse officials claim a delay in a dune replenishment project is putting the iconic landmark in jeopardy.

Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society is joining the fight to overturn a judge’s decision to halt the dune replenishment project because of an endangered bird species.

The New York Audubon Society filed a lawsuit to protect the piping plover nesting grounds on Fire Island. The Audubon Society convinced a federal judge to stop a federal project repairing the dunes damaged by Superstorm Sandy for fear that it could harm the endangered species that nests in the island’s dunes.

Superstorm Sandy washed away the shore line’s protection and there is no time to wait, said Mark Nuccio, of the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society.

“Let’s not let politics get in the way of what must be done to save a national monument,” Nuccio told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs. “We don’t have time on our side. We have to do what we have to do and then see what the long-range fix is.”

Earlier this week, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said he wants the stop-work order lifted.

“The county attorney’s office is preparing papers to file with the U.S. District Court to intervene in the lawsuit from the Audubon Society,” Bellone said. “This project must move forward.”

Fire Island residents were glad the county stepped in.

“If our dunes disappear, Fire Island will disappear and there will be no nesting place for the plover,” Janet Sonner said.

“If a hurricane comes in here, those plovers are not going to be there,” Betty Adie said.

The next court hearing on the lawsuit is set for Oct. 8.

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