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Sand Needed for Sandy Repair

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Montauk needs sand. And fast. Montauk's downtown business district has been left very vulnerable to storm surge; during Hurricane Sandy, the dunes that protect downtown were severely damaged.

The question is, where is the sand to shore up downtown going to come from? One idea is to use sand from farther west, taking it from Georgica Pond, Northwest Harbor, Accabonac Harbor, and Napeague Harbor.

Sounds like a good idea, except that East Hampton Town Trustees do not control the beaches in Montauk. The trustees control most of the town's sand and beaches by the authority of the 1686 Dongan Patent. Except in Montauk, that is. In 1852 various Montauk landowners established their own trust.

Town Trustee Diane McNally said, "They want trustee sand in Montauk? There was a time we couldn't sneeze beyond East Hampton. What about the person at Lazy Point who lost a dune? Not everyone cares about Montauk. We have to look at the trustees' own beaches."

So what is the solution? Easing state restrictions on sandbags and geocubes (bigger, cube-shaped sandbags) is one idea. Currently they're only permitted on an emergency, temporary basis. "What if the plan could be developed so they could go in before winter storms, then taken out in the spring? Not detrimental in the long run. 'Temporary' would mean seasonally," Ms. McNally said.
· Trustee Sand Demand [EH Star]