SOUTHOLD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A popular beach is quickly disappearing on Long Island’s North Fork — the victim of winter storms.
Now, the town of Southold is ordering up an emergency sand replenishment before summer arrives.
The waves rippled peacefully at Southold town beach in Suffolk County on Tuesday, but as CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, even at low tide one can see how much of the popular beach has been swallowed up by the Long Island Sound.
“We have literally only a few feet between the shore and the parking lot,” Scott Russell, Southold Town Supervisor (R) said.
Russell said punishing winter storms are to blame for depleting the once 100-ft long beach.
Now, the beachfront is covered with shells and the remaining sand is filled with hard-scrabble rocks. The slopes show just how much sand has been lost — so steep it’s hazardous for anyone to navigate.
“It becomes a sharp decline and what we need to do is make sure it’s viable. So, no beach, so sand, no swimming, that’s the reality,” he said.
To avoid shutting down the beach, the town will spend as much as $60,000 to truck in dredged sand.
Each summer, thousands of tourists flock to the Southold town beach.
Nearby motels said they’re concerned that they may skip the diminished beach and cost the town lucrative summertime revenue.
Local resident Steve Garmes agrees.
“This beach is one of the reasons people come out here, and they rent during the summer, and they get lunch at all the local establishments, and at the local restaurants at night,” Garmes said.
Danny Kim of Queens came to scout the beach as a possible summer vacation spot for his family. He’s in favor of bringing in the sand.
“I know the storms took a toll on all the beaches. I think they should be funded more to bring New York back to what it should be,” he said.
Racing against the sands of time, town leaders said they still need state approval to start dumping the needed tons of sand.
The town is getting a helping hand — the Cross Sound Ferry is donating sand dredged from the Long Island Sound.