New Funding for FI Ferry Terminals in Patchogue , Ocean
Beach and Bayshore
Joe Vetri of USACE talks abut
LIPA Offering Cash For Refrigerators
Ginnie Fields requesting grant for Fire Island
Suffolk County officials have detected the West Nile virus
in two crows.
New Funding for FI Ferry
$850,000 in new federal funding for two
terminals: $600,000 to replace the 1937 Ocean Beach terminal (not on the mainland but at Ocean
beach) and the Saltaire terminal in Bay Shore is
being repaired and improved as well for $250,000.
The ferries take visitors
to Fire Island beaches. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) says they’re also
essential to small businesses on both sides of the Great South Bay.
The project is in the
planning stages and construction is expected to begin late next year
New Terminal for Fire Island Ferry in Patchogue
The Patchogue terminal, which has been in the planning stages for
years, will open by Jan.1, 2010 according to Federal officials at a cost of
$4.6 million. These funds come from more than $10 million in federal
investments allocated to improve Patchogue, including $6.3 million from the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The new terminal will require the services of 40 construction
workers and will end up double the size of the current Patchogue-Watch Hill
Congressman Tim Bishop said “This funding will create jobs and
promote economic growth in Patchogue while improving access for tourists and
boaters to the natural beauty of Fire Island and the surrounding waterways.”
Christopher Soller, superintendent of Fire Island
National Seashore, will be unveiling the plan for the new Terminal.
Water Temperature and
JOSEPH VIETRI, USACE Director Nat Plng Center for Costal & Storm Damage Chief of Policy
and Planning for the North Atlantic Division of the US Army Corps of Engineers
"As many of you have experienced recently, the Ocean has been
especially warm. So warm in fact that the water temperature in Maine is in the
low to mid 70's and along the Delaware coast it has been in the mid 80's.
Florida is boasting Water temperatures in the 90's.
The cause of this warming of the Ocean, a number of factors from El Nino,
currents, and more ominous perhaps signs of climate change.
While this has made swimming here on Fire Island especially pleasant
(especially with no Jelly Fish) it hides a much larger problem. These include,
dying coral reefs, increased melting of the Ice Cap and of course the increased
probability of severe Hurricanes.
Hurricanes need fuel to grow and that fuel is derived from warm water. Warm
water along and up the east coast could mean sustaining a storm along a much
further northern tract. As we seen this weekend with Hurricane Bill these
storms do not even have to touch land and they can have a large effect on the
fragile sand bar we call Fire Island.
Beaches typically enjoy the benefit of south westerly winds during the summer.
Given Long Islands orientation relative to the rest of the east coast this
allows beaches to build material by the on shore movement of sand before the
winds shift in the fall. This on shore/offshore movement of sand provides a
large gently sloping beach in the summer and of course a steep and narrow beach
in the winter months. What is somewhat troubling is
late summer storms that erode the beach prior to the fall and winter season
leaving our beaches vulnerable to the next storm or storms.
Historically, late summer and early fall are our busy hurricane season here in
the Mid Atlantic Region. This is followed by a fall and winter which of course
features our Nor’easter season. Typically October thru December and then March
and April are very active Nor’easter months. All of these systems play havoc
with our coastline and Infrastructure and an eroded shoreline increases the
risk of future physical damage dramatically.
So Hurricane Bill Thanks for nothing beyond some great surf and for missing us
completely. Should this have not occurred - well perhaps I will discuss that at
a later date”.
Chief Planning & Policy
Director Nat Plng Center for Costal & Storm
North Atlantic Division
LIPA Offering Cash For
LIPA says the
refrigerator is the single highest energy-consuming kitchen appliance.
Starting in December the Long Island Power Authority is applying
the Cash for Clunkers program to old inefficient refrigerators in the form of a
$75 rebate when they purchase a standard-size Energy Star refrigerator larger
than 7.5 cubic feet, and an additional $30 to help remove and properly dispose
and recycle the old fridge.
Energy Star-qualified refrigerators are 40 percent more efficient
than models sold in 2001.
For more information call your customer care rep at LIPA or go to http://www.lipower.org
Suffolk County officials have detected the West Nile virus
in two crows.
Health officials said
they are the first two birds to test positive for the virus this year. They
were found in the towns of Huntington and Huntington Station earlier this
The virus is transmitted
by the bite of an infected mosquito, and can be fatal.
Health officials say
residents who find dead birds should report them to their hotline at 631
ASSEMBLYWOMAN GINNIE FIELDS
REQUESTING TIGER GRANT FOR FIRE ISLAND
This is the letter I sent to the State DOT stating that I will be working with
the towns and other entities to apply for funding for various projects that
will help Fire Island. If you have any further questions, feel free to
Assemblywoman Ginny Fields
July 31, 2009
Governor David A. Paterson
State of New York
Albany, New York 12224
Dear Governor Paterson:
Thank you for informing me of the federal funding opportunity
Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. Long Island has been affected by the
downturn of the economy and I believe a project affecting the south shore of
Long Island (Fire Island) would fall under the funding criteria that has been
listed and would help our communities to recover from the current fiscal crisis
and make a major lasting investment to our infrastructure.
Fire Island is a barrier island on the south shore of Long Island. It is approximately 31 miles long and
varying between approximately 0.1 mile to 0.25 mile wide. It passes through Suffolk County, New
York is and southeast of Long Island approximately 5 ½ miles south of
the main land of Long Island separated from the main land by the Great South
Bay (South Shore Estuary). The
projects I will be requesting funding for would be of a long term regional
statewide significance and would bring jobs and tourism dollars to what is
already one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and which draws
people from a wide area.
Fire Island is reachable by ferry or boat. The island has very limited access by automobile for day
use. Motor vehicles are not
permitted on the approximately 20 miles in between except for utility,
construction and emergency access and with limited beach driving permits in
winter. Essentially the island and
its resort towns are accessible only by the numerous ferries. Driving is only allowed by permit. There are only rescue or service
vehicles on the beach during the summer months (Memorial Day through Labor
Day). There are approximately 491
people, 138 households and 77 families residing on Fire Island year round. There are approximately 4,200 privately
owned homes on Fire Island within 17 communities. During the summer months the island is visited by
approximately 2.2 million people, either into one of the 17 private
communities, to the county park, on waters surrounding the island, or to one of
the national seashore facilities.
Fire Island National Seashore was established on September 11, 1964 by
Public Law 88-587. Within the park
boundaries there are almost 15,000 acres of open water, 26 bay islands,
approximately 101 miles of coastline, including 72 of Fire Island’s 84 miles of
Atlantic Ocean and bay shorelines, and 1,380 acres of federally designated
wilderness (perhaps the only wilderness area that is accessible by public
transportation-ferry). Within the
park boundaries are 17 preexisting private communities and Smith Point County
Park. The three mainland terminal
sites are from Patchogue, Sayville and Bay Shore. Historic resources include two National Historic Landmarks
(the Fire Island Light Station and the William Floyd Estate) and six
· Since the only way to visit the barrier island is by ferry or boat,
there are many ferry terminals and docks on the north side of Fire Island. Foot travel is by boardwalk in some of
the communities and cement sidewalk in others. On the mainland side (the Great South Bay (South Shore Estuary),
there are ferry terminals which bring tourists, residents and visitors. Boating, swimming, surfing, and fishing
are the predominant recreational pursuits which attribute much of the revenue
for the tourism industry in addition to restaurants and bars. Many
of the channels for ferry and boat navigation is in need of dredging to maintain
the channel for the ferries and boats.
· On the western portion of Fire Island is Captree Boat Basin, part of Captree State Park, which is a
major fishing area—the largest fishing port in New York State or the
entire eastern seaboard. Approximately 2 million people come to Captree State Park which lies at the eastern tip of Jones Beach Island in the heart of
the fishing grounds. It is
accessible via the Robert Moses Causeway by car. The park features a boat basin
with open and charter boats available for fishing, as well as scuba diving,
sightseeing and excursion boats. Access to the ocean is through the Captree Channel and the Fire Island Inlet. Both of these areas are in need of
dredging to maintain the channel for boats. The dredge spoil could be placed on the east end of Captreee State Park which would stabilize the
shore-line. In addition, the
Marine Pump Out station for Open and Charter Boats should be repaired or
replaced and the water filtration plant should be upgraded.
Decking and staving throughout the basin and on
· On the mainland of Long Island and the docks of Fire Island are
boardwalks and ferry terminals in need of repair and replacement. These are the only mode of
transportation by bicycle, walking or golf cart and are an extension of the
mainland highways. Many of the boardwalks and sidewalks
throughout Fire Island are in need of repair or replacement.
Since Fire Island is governed by two towns (Town of Brookhaven and Town
of Islip), two villages (Saltaire and Ocean Beach),
and the Fire Island National Seashore, each has requested projects that would
help their port infrastructure, sidewalks, boardwalks and associated navigable
waters and marina or dock repair or replacement. As I expressed previously, this barrier beach
destination cannot be driven on. Therefore, the ferries and boats carrying freight and passengers must be
able to traverse the Great South Bay in order to approach the island. Once on the island, its roads are an
extension of our roads on the mainland and can be crossed utilizing carts,
wagons, bicycles, and specialized emergency equipment. In addition, since emergency access is
extremely difficult, a heliport pad would be necessary to transport victims of
illness or injury from the island to the mainland.
I have enclosed letters and an Excel spreadsheet with a generalized
request for the various projects for Fire Island and the mainland in Suffolk
County. In addition, I have a
report that was produced by the Budget Review Office of the Suffolk County
Legislature named the “Impact of the
Atlantic Ocean Beaches to the Economy of Suffolk County” from 2003 discussing the importance of Fire Island. The report gives an account of direct
spending or output from Suffolk County’s south shore beaches stating that they
contribute an estimated $255.7 million dollars annually to the county’s economy
in tourism. An estimated 11.3
million people are estimated to visit the south shore beaches each year. Out of these, more than 500,000are
estimated to be tourists. The
report also states that the level of spending generates $341.0 million in total
sales and supports 3,855 jobs.
The TIGER grant would certainly go a long way to keep Fire Island (one
of the top ten beaches in the world) a tourist destination in maintaining or
improving travel conditions by dredging adjacent to the marinas; improving the “roads” (sidewalks and
boardwalks) for the visitors and residents; improving the emergency access via
sidewalks, board-walks and heliport,