I took advantage of some decent winter weather to hop around various locations on the Ocean Pkwy to check out the progress of the Fire Island Inlet dredging project. The company arrived in Fire Island Inlet just a few weeks back and from the looks of things they are move large amounts of material from the inlet bottom and onto the beaches that Hurricane Sandy destroyed.
Starting at the West end of Gilgo I found the beach to be extremely narrow despite it being close to LOW tide while I was there. The beach was also very flat with no height to keep the wash from running right up to what is left of any dune-line.
Moving East I saw a HUGE mountain of sand being built up by the dredge company’s bulldozers. I spoke briefly to one of the operators and found they are pumping the sand from the inlet (about 1.5miles east) through the pipeline and onto this mountain. From there dump trucks are being filled to transport the sand to where it’s needed.
My last stop was the Babylon Overlook beach which was the closest I could get to the area the dredge itself was currently working. On this day the dredge was on the south side of the inlet up behind Democrat Pt. The pipe from the dredge angles across the inlet in the shallows before going underwater where the actual channel would/should be. The pipe comes ashore on the north side approximately 1/2 mile west of the Sore Thumb.
With the zoom lens on my camera I was able to make out numerous floating buoys and markers related to the dredge pipeline. With this project reportedly to run into May, Fire Island boaters are going to need to be on their toes when transiting this area.