Firm says town should consider second jetty at Goldsmith Inlet

08/13/2013 5:00 PM |

FILE PHOTO | The pollution of Goldsmith Inlet has been an ongoing concern for the town.

An environmental engineering firm has recommended that Southold Town consider building a second jetty at Goldsmith Inlet in Peconic to help reduce pollution.

Last year, the town hired eDesign Dynamics LLC of New York City, to measure tidal flow and the rate at which sand is being deposited in the inlet. During the board’s work session Tuesday morning, eDesign managing partner Eric Rothstein  presented the board with its findings along with a list of recommendations to help alleviate pollution.

The study showed that the inlet’s water quality has continued to deteriorate, according to the presentation. The company said this is primarily due to large deposits of sand that severely limit tidal flow as well as the normal amount of flushing, which has historically kept the inlet healthy. Mr. Rothstein said annual “emergency” dredging does little to improve water quality. Instead, he said building another jetty is the most likely way of reducing sediment buildup and increasing tidal flow long term.

The proposed jetty would sit on the east side of the channel, opposite the existing jetty , Mr. Rothstein said. The option was the most expensive presented.

The company estimates the jetty would cost the town between $3,000 to $5,000 per linear foot.

The company also proposed a method of sand removal known as agitation dredging – a method that uses pressurized water to move sediment.

“You can get the fire department to go out during ebb tide, when the tide is going out, and you start blasting it with a fire hose to suspend the sand and get it to move out,” Mr. Rothstein said.

Other options included moving the location of the  annual dredging site further away from the Sound.

The company plans to build models of each of the possibilities to give the public a better idea of how they could be implemented. All of the suggestions would need to be reviewed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation before moving forward.

The board did not take any immediate action on the recommendations.

The community will have a chance to weigh in on the presentation during a community meeting scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 24 at 10 a.m. at the Peconic Community Center.

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