East Hampton Town Moves Forward With Water And Beach Improvement Plans

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The Town of East Hampton is hoping to get some public input on the Lake Montauk study that has been ongoing since 2008.

According to Kim Shaw, the town’s director of natural resources, the study of the lake’s health was picked up again after the plan lingered for years. She said in 2013, the town reappropriated money left over in a New York State grant that it received for the project in 2008 so that its consultant, Nelson, Pope & Voorhis, could do the characterization plan.

She said the town is in the process of drumming up suggestions for best management practices, water quality improvements, and a priority list for acquisitions around the lake.

There will be a public hearing in June when the study is completed, but before then, Supervisor Larry Cantwell wants the public to participate in the study by airing their concerns and knowing what Nelson, Pope & Voorhis’s recommendations might be before a final report.

Ms. Shaw said that industry owners, environmentalists and residents have all given their input along the way.

The Town Board also wants to field options on the possible downtown Montauk beach replenishment plan that it is working on with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Following several requests from community members to find coastal experts and work with them to find the right solution, Ms. Shaw came back with three different professors who are experts in geology and marine research who would be willing to work with the town free of charge.

The town is currently talking with Robert Young from Western Carolina University, who has worked previously with the Southampton Town Trustees, Jay Tanski of New York Sea Grant and Henry Bokuniewicz, a Stony Brook University geologist who has worked with Hook Pond in East Hampton Village, among other projects.

The experts would advise the town on how to move forward with the process of applying for a competitive grant that would help the town hire a coastal expert, and would help guide the town as it decides what option to go forward with.

Mr. Cantwell said the town is still anxiously awaiting the Army Corps of Engineers’ recommendation.

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