Southold will again try to open Goldsmith Inlet

The brief window for dredging Goldsmith Inlet in Peconic is nearly here, and the Town Board hopes guidance they received this year will help digging crews avoid the pitfalls of last year’s dredging, when the mouth of the inlet filled back in with sand within days.

Last month, the town hired hydrological engineering firm eDesign Dynamics to examine what can be done to improve the project within the scope of the town’s existing permits.

Town Board members said last week they’re in favor of the consulting group’s recommendations to dig a deeper and narrower channel to increase the rate of flow through the inlet, which they hope will keep sand collecting from its entrance. The dredging is planned for mid-January.

Lillian Ball, an area resident who recommended the hiring of eDesign Dynamics, accompanied the engineers at a site visit earlier this month.

“They looked at it very carefully from every perspective,” she said. “They’re going to do something slightly different and tweak what’s been done before. They’re very much concerned with taking the dredge spoil farther east.”

Last year, the sand removed from the inlet was placed relatively close to its mouth, which may have been a contributing factor to it closing in again quickly.

The Town Board last week authorized Chesterfields Associates, Inc. and Latham Sand and Gravel to dredge the inlet, at a cost to the town of $40,000.

“This is a short-term solution,” said Ms. Ball, adding that her group’s long-term study, funded in part by Suffolk
County, of the shifting sands in the inlet using monitoring stations that collect data non-stop for much of the year, will likely point the way to success.

“In the long run, I think more will have to be done,” she said.

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