Sagaponack community notes, February 4


In summer, people talk about traffic, and in winter, we talk about erosion. Both are intractable, seasonal topics. Officials bring money, and municipalities turn it into sand. They speak like this is a social problem, something that financed cooperation can solve. Costal erosion can be minimally mitigated by money but never stopped.

The full moon brings the lowest tide. And it makes a spectacle of the beach, flickering across the water, turning the black sand to malachite. At day, walking these revealed beaches, you’ll find, among the stony shelves, good and colorful pieces of beach glass. The value of the prize is yours alone to figure. Beach glass hunting is a very relaxing form of prospecting. This is a place where old-timers made bottle dumps in and behind the dunes. As those sections slowly fall to the Atlantic, coveted colors like light blue and lavender make their way to the tumbling factory.

But beach glass is in crisis. For sure, there are more people than ever collecting it. I know ladies who have whole aquariums of it perched on their windowsills. Worse, however, is the impact of plastic. It has negatively reduced the amount of garbage nature can turn into found art. As less and less glass enters the supply line, future stockpiles now wholly depend on revelers throwing empty beers and romantics forgetting their finished wine.

There has been a lot of abnormal activity at the beach—not in incidences but in bulk. They were mining the south end of Sagg Pond to replenish the dunes east of here. It’s a terrible and ugly strategy. Many cannot understand how so few are ludicrously served by the quarry truck’s attempt to turn back the sands of time, literally. The tires leave trenches 2 feet deep.

This is a beach where you must have a permit for a fire, or to take a fish; where it’s illegal to go topless, or to bring your dog between certain hours. Yet somehow it is OK to plunge into the ecosystem with lusty abandon for a goal that doesn’t amount to a fart in a proverbial windstorm. Sand moves. We settle rocks and build revetments; sand keeps moving.

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