Residents pressure Southold Town to act on Goldsmith Inlet

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.

With frustration in their voices, more than a dozen residents spoke before the board Tuesday night, stating that the past winter was one of the worst for erosion and the health in the inlet in recent memory.

All in attendance requested the town help in picking up the pace on finding a solution.

“You are the Town board, you have an obligation to take care of the Tow,” said John Hess, who lives on the east side of the Long Island Sound inlet near Kenny’s Beach in Southold. “For 33 years I’ve been hearing the same story. Please do something.”

The resurgence in public outcry comes as Supervisor Scott Russell begins to crunch the numbers to come up with $27,500 to commission the environmental impact study. The study would update a feasibility study on changing the jetty’s configuration conducted by Offshore and Coastal Technologies, Inc. in 2006.

The former board received the results of that study in 2008. It recommended reducing the jetty by a third for an estimated $1 million. Lacking sufficient support from Town Board members, however, the matter never came to a vote.

“I don’t understand,” said Amy Agnesini, who lives near Kenny’s Beach in Southold. “When one does research they find out information that we are losing our shoreline, normally, we should have a reaction to that and I’m not quite sure why nothing is being done. ”

“The Town Board recognizes that the failure of the previous board to adopt an EIS left unfinished business,” Mr. Russel said. “We are hoping for a different outcome now. I’m sure I can find $27,500 in the budget to get it done as quickly as we can.”

The new study would again likely be conducted by Offshore and Coastal Technologies, Inc., Mr. Russell said. He added that the board would address the matter in a timely fashion, but could not provide a timeframe on when, or if any, work would be done at Goldsmith Inlet.

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