When Hurricane Sandy crashed into the Northeast coastline on October 29th 2012, she brought with her an historic storm surge that pushed water levels along the New Jersey and Long Island New York shoreline to record breaking heights. This surge was responsible unprecedented flooding all along the coast. Buildings, homes, boats and cars were no match as Sandy racked up damages in the billions with rebuilding efforts sure to continue for months if not years.

The record storm surge associated  with Hurricane Sandy also caused many wash overs along the Atlantic Ocean facing barrier beaches. In fact, the barrier islands were breached in three locations as a result. The east side of Moriches Inlet and the Smith Point County Outer Beach Park were cut through and quickly filled in by the Army Corp of Engineers are part of their Breach Contingency Plan.

The third breach was in an area of the Fire Island National Seashore called the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dunes Wilderness area and fell under the National Park Service jurisdiction. The stretch where this breach is located is ironically called Old Inlet due to the fact it was actually a navigable inlet many, many years ago.

NPS took a different approach to this breach by deciding to leave it alone for a period of review after which they would then make a decision. During this time there has been public meetings to discuss the possible impacts. One side of the coin has public officials and some waterfront residents urging the Park Service to close the breach to prevent further flooding. The other side, includes area scientists, naturalists and enviroment organizations who feel this breach is a wonderful opportunity for the Great South Bay.

I count myself among those who feel this breach should be left to it’s natural course of evolution. This breach occurred in an area of the Great South Bay where there is historically NOT a lot of natural flushing action due to the area’s remoteness from other south shore inlets. The clean, clear water exchange between the Atlantic Ocean and Great South Bay is doing wonders already.

Stony Brook University has been conducting studies on the Great South Bay for several years now and reading through their reports shows nothing but good news. To date there has been no evidence of increase flooding due to the breach and the water quality has greatly improved. In my very un-scientific opinion, and this just coming from someone who’s entire life has been on Great South Bay, this breach can do nothing but GOOD things for the bay.

Those of us who care for the Great South Bay can only hope the powers in charge of the final decision will consider what a wonderful gift this breach is, and understand this is the single bright spot Long Island received from Superstorm Sandy