The long-discussed plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to build a new dune to protect downtown Montauk is finally scheduled to begin in three weeks. The project will involve building a 16.5-foot high dune, 105 feet wide, from South Emery Street to the Atlantic Terrace motel, using geotextile bags filled with sand. Pedestrians will get to the beach via walkways on pilings, and there will also be a cut in the dune to allow vehicular access. The project will cost $8.9M, to be paid for by the federal government, but will be "sponsored" legally by East Hampton Town.
One point of contention—besides, of course, the contentious issue of whether the project should be attempted at all—is that the geotextile bags will be filled with quarried sand, which is reportedly orange, although local sand will cover them. The issue is that these bags have a finite life; a year ago, Jeremy Samuelson, the executive director of Concerned Citizens of Montauk, said, "When these bags break, our beach will be covered with upland quarry sand." Orange upland quarry sand!
Various groups protesting the work, including one called Defend H2O, have applied in federal court for permission to seek an injunction halting the project.