10/24/16 9:00am
10/24/2016 9:00 AM

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After years of minor annual maintenance at the mouth of Goldsmith Inlet in Peconic, Southold Town officials are hoping for “a more substantial dredging” to keep the inlet opened longer, according to Supervisor Scott Russell.

Town officials met last Tuesday with representatives from the Suffolk County Department of Public Works to come up with a plan for the inlet. READ

05/18/14 7:00am
05/18/2014 7:00 AM
TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO

Goldsmith Inlet along the Long Island Sound. (Credit: Suffolk Times, file)

To the Editor:

Again, your reporter covering the Town Board meeting of May 6 has got all the facts wrong. What the Town Board approved is the expenditure of $31,000 to rewrite the scope (outline) of the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed project to shorten the Goldsmith Inlet jetty. (more…)

04/09/14 10:14am
04/09/2014 10:14 AM
Goldsmith Inlet (Grant Parpan photo)

Goldsmith Inlet. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

It has been a long road for the residents neighboring Goldsmith Inlet in Peconic.

For decades community members on both sides of the watershed have battled to protect their respective interests in relation to the inlet’s jetty — wondering if the environment and their homes would ever be secure. On Tuesday, they continued their search for answers as the Town Board gears up to invest nearly $30,000 for another environmental impact study of the jetty. (more…)

12/13/13 6:59am
12/13/2013 6:59 AM

TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | An aerial view of Goldsmith Inlet in 2012.

Next year promises to bring big changes for Goldsmith Inlet. Or, at least, more studies about big changes.

Last Tuesday, the Town Board received the final recommendation from eDesign Dynamics, the company hired to measure tidal flow and the rate at which sand is being deposited in the inlet.

The study showed that the inlet’s water quality will continue to deteriorate due to large deposits of sand that severely limit tidal flow.

The 63-page report indicates using a more modern dredging technique to improve tidal flow. Unlike the dredging done in recent years, the company recommends leaving in place the sand “spit” on the outer east side of the channel, which helps keep sand from flowing into the inlet.

Related: Decades after jetty was built, problems persist at Goldsmith Inlet

“Our goal with leaving the spit is to see if sedimentation of the inlet is reduced,” eDesign Dynamics managing partner Eric Rothstein said. “This needs to be coupled with two things: dredging of the sill and being ready to prevent against erosion of the dunes to the east of the inlet.”

For these reasons, eDesign Dynamics suggests removing the spit only if it appears to threaten the integrity of the dunes to the east. If this is the case, and the spit has pushed the channel so far to the east that it is encroaching on the dunes there, then intervention is appropriate, the report states.

The firm’s engineers believe that dune erosion to the east can be avoided for the most part by armoring the base of the dune to protect against encroachment from the channel. This armoring could take several forms, the simplest of which may be the use of stone reinforcement, according to the recommendations.

The firm also recommends that the town seek amendments to its DEC permit to dredge the interior of the inlet, which would extend farther south than is currently allowed. It also advises dredging when the tide is low and the pond is emptying, carrying any suspended sediment out to the Sound.

Ultimately, eDesign dismissed the option of building a second jetty on the east side of the inlet because doing so would require additional studies and significant expense and did not appear to have Town Board support.

Mr. Rothstein had told the Town Board in August that, in the long term, a second jetty was the most likely way to reduce sediment buildup and increase tidal flow.

At that time, the company estimated that a new jetty would cost the town between $3,000 and $5,000 per linear foot.

“Interventions on this scale will also require significant capital investment and a rigorous regulatory review and approval process and for these reasons are not included as part of EDD’s recommendation,” the report states.

More studies will probably be needed before the town implements any recommendations, Supervisor Scott Russell said.

“It’s a difficult challenge from every aspect,” he said.

The town has posted eDesign Dynamic’s final recommendations on its website and is encouraging the public to comment on them before any action is taken.

[email protected]

12/12/13 6:00am
12/12/2013 6:00 AM
TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO

TIM KELLY FILE PHOTO | The Group to Save Goldsmith Inlet has lobbied to restore the health of Goldsmith Inlet.

To the editor:

I want to acknowledge the significant efforts Scott Russell and the Town Board have taken these past few years to restore the health and safety of Goldsmith Inlet.

They have focused engineering department efforts on dredging at the Sound entrance to the Inlet, to maintain an opening for tidal flow. They re-armored the shoreline along Mill Lane to address scouring of the shoreline.

Recognizing that dredging and armoring deal only with the symptoms of the problem — the sand and debris that is continuously forced into the inlet — they authorized an overall assessment to determine the cause of the problems and to propose long-range solutions.

The town planning department created a management plan for the Inlet in 2009, and gained funding from the state and county for a comprehensive study by environmental and hydrological engineering firms that began in 2012.

Since then, interim study results and recommendations have been presented at various public meetings allowing for wide public input. The last report from the studies was presented to the Town Board last Tuesday.

As a result, the town has now confirmed the levels and DNA source of pollutants in the Inlet, which caused the DEC to restrict all shellfishing long ago, and has enabled the spread of invasive plant species. The studies highlight the cause of the problems — the funnel created by the single jetty. They propose both short- and long-term solutions to address these problems.

We want to acknowledge the Town Board and its planning and engineering departments for their continuing efforts on behalf of a healthy and safe Goldsmith Inlet.

We also want to thank the hundreds of volunteers, with a special nod to Bill Grigonis and the NJROTC cadets, who conducted annual cleanups (with hundreds of tons of debris removed), planted native species on the banks and completed other work to save the Inlet.

Hugh Switzer, Peconic

Mr. Switzer sent this letter on behalf of the Group to Save Goldsmith Inlet steering committee: George Aldcroft, Peggy Dickerson, Bill Higgins, Rick and Linda Kedenburg, Allen Kraus and Susan Switzer.

12/03/13 7:00am
12/03/2013 7:00 AM

Southold Town board members are scheduled to discuss New York City-based environmental engineering firm eDesign Dynamics LLC‘s final recommendation on how to help reduce pollution at Goldsmith Inlet in Peconic during its work session Tuesday.

In August, the firm suggested several ideas on who to improve water flow at the long congested inlet, including the possibility of building a second jetty.

Last year, the town hired eDesign Dynamics to measure tidal flow and the rate at which sand is being deposited in the inlet.

The study showed that the inlet’s water quality has continued to deteriorate. 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.

Company representative Eric 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, according to the proposal. 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. Other options included moving the location of the annual dredging site further away from the Sound.

The final recommendation will be presented at the board’s work session at 9 a.m. in the Town Hall meeting room.

[email protected]

11/20/13 10:00am
11/20/2013 10:00 AM

FILE PHOTO | Goldsmith Inlet in Peconic.

Opting for a cheaper and less invasive method of clearing the opening of Goldsmith Inlet, Southold Town engineers Jamie Richter and Michael Collins are recommending the town skip its traditional dredging this year.

During the Town Board’s work session Tuesday morning, the engineers told members it would be it would be both cost effective and sufficient for maintaining the health of the Peconic inlet to dig out only a portion of the front opening of the channel known as the spit.

The spit extends from the southerly end of the jetty across to the mouth of the inlet, Mr. Collins said. As more sand is deposited on the spit, the channel shifts toward the east causing damage to the dunes, he said.

“Basically I just need to create a hole in the middle of [the spit] so that water will flow where we intended it to,” Mr. Collins said.

Removing the build-up of sand on the spit would cost roughly $4,000 to $6,000, far less than the full dredge of Goldsmith Inlet that typically happens every January, which runs about $50,000, Mr. Collins said.

The engineers believe there is no need to spend money on large-scale dredging this year because tidal flow – which regulates flushing and helps clean out pollution – has been stronger than in past years.

“It’s not great, but compared to other years there is more tidal flow,” Mr. Collins said. “Half of the tide is still flushing in and out. It’s not perfect,  but it is satisfactory.”

Moving forward, Mr. Collins said his department will continue to work with environmental engineering firm eDesign Dynamics LLC of New York City to develop a long-term plan for the dredging of Goldsmith Inlet.

Last year, the Town hired the firm to analyze perennially-clogged waterway and develop recommendations about how to correct the pollution of the inlet. On the forefront was a suggestion to build a second $1.5 million jetty, however the Town has not moved forward on any of the options eDesign Dynamics presented.

“We are still working with that report,” Mr. Collins said. “We will sit down and discuss the best way to go forward the next time we have full dredge event, if we even have one at all.”