Frequently Asked Questions
These FAQs were prepared by the Save the Dunes & Beaches Foundation, with consultation from First Coastal Corporation, and reflect information as of April 26, 2021. For questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about beach nourishment please visit www.quoguebeaches.org. The Save the Dunes and Beaches Foundation, Inc., founded 2007, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation and protection of the dunes and beaches of Quogue through education, advocacy and public action.
Isn't erosion inevitable and there is nothing man can do to save the land?
Beach Nourishment is a cost effective method of natural and nature based flood and erosion protection for the mainland as well as the barrier island.
- Beach destinations are the United States’ largest travel & leisure activity and beach communities generate large scale economic benefit.
- Beach Nourishment enhances beaches and dunes, provides habitat for endangered species, recreation space for humans, and is the largest economic driver for trades, services, and professionals in the local, regional and national economy. – See Houston, James, 2018, Economic Impact of America’s Beaches, Shore and Beach Spring 2018
Why should the local, state or federal governments bail out beachfront homeowners?
The government is preserving the mainland not bailing out the beachfront homeowners.
- The barrier island of Dune Road must be intact in order to preserve Quogue Village mainland homes and the business economy that accrues to local trades, services and professionals.
- The Army Corps is obligated to pursue the least costly method of protecting the mainland and therefore the barrier island. The alternative to beach nourishment is for the federal government to buy back private lands. A buy back would be 20 – 40x more expensive than beach nourishment.
- Loss of the barrier island would physically devastate the mainland and cripple the local economy where beachfront properties represent 24% of the Quogue tax base.
- The property values in Quogue are strong as a result of the beachfront and so home values would plummet to historic lows without an operational village beach. The cost of nourishment is a fraction of the value it brings to land and home values.
- The Ocean beach in Quogue is estimated to generate over $58,000,000 annually to professionals, trades, services and other local and regional businesses. – See Terchunian, 2020, A Simplified Region Input Output Model for Beach Restoration, ASBPA, 2020 National Conference.
What are we advocating for and why is it needed?
- We are advocating for Quogue to join our neighborhood communities along the East End of Long Island who are participating in beach nourishment and ask that the Mayor and Trustees address how we will bring beach nourishment to the Quogue Village Beach.
- The Trustees have stated: “Beach nourishment is the only way to address it [the “serious threat” to the QVB and neighboring properties] on any scale.” – Trustee Decision, June 21, 2019 (pg 3)
- Beach nourishment involves offshore dredging of sand to create a high and wide beach meeting the Army Corps standards.
- The most recent cost estimate to nourish the approximate 1-mile eastern stretch of Quogue beach without direct federal and New York State financial assistance has been estimated at ~$11.7 million.
What Interim Measures have been taken?
- The Village has spent approximately $200,000 of our tax dollars on beach scraping over the last 10 years.
- During this time frame, in many cases beach scraping was not available in the most critically eroded areas because the beach was too narrow and did not meet requirements to allow for scraping.
- Beach scraping has been Quogue’s solution to date and it does not address sustainability by engineering standards nor is it able to be used for the most eroded/vulnerable areas of the beach. None of our neighboring communities have found this to be a practical, sustainable solution.
- Despite this expenditure of tax dollars, the beach gets worse every year.
Is Dredging bad for the environment?
- The Trustees June 21, 2019 decision states (page 3): “We do not share the belief…that dredging offshore of Quogue in the places and manner proposed will have an adverse effect on our beach. Such scientific evidence as exists is to the contrary and neither the DEC [New York State Department of Environmental Conservation] nor the ACOE [Army Corps of Engineers] believes that dredging will be harmful. In any event, dredging is already slated to occur off our shore in connection with FIMP [Fire Island to Montauk Project – a Federal project to bolster the shoreline].”
- Further, the designated borrow area where sand is dredged from and placed on the beach, is located one mile off of Quogue’s shore and is already in use today to build up areas in Westhampton Beach, Westhampton, and West Hampton Dunes. We would like to use this “borrow area” for our own beach.
What is FIMP and what is the Beach Erosion Control District?
- The Fire Island Montauk Point project (“FIMP”) is a Federal and New York State sponsored program that includes nourishing beaches and raising roads among other proactive and protective measures. The initial construction of the project is 100% federally funded. The Army Corps surveyed Quogue’s shoreline in April 2020 and concluded the Village Beach and other areas west, should be under consideration for FIMP due to extensive erosion. Determination of if and how Quogue participates in FIMP is negotiated at the State, County and Local levels.
- Quogue’s Beach Erosion Control District (“BECD”) was proposed by a concerned group of Dune Road property owners to self-fund a beach nourishment project that would piggyback on the upcoming FIMP projects expected in East Quogue and Hampton Bays. A privately funded beach nourishment district is the same method used by neighbors in Sagaponack, Watermill and Bridgehampton and is proposed to be used in East Quogue at the Tiana Beach Erosion District. The Quogue Village Beach would have been included in a Quogue BECD, which was rejected by the Quogue Village Board in June 2019.
- Quogue is the only municipality in Long Island with ongoing erosion to reject a request to allow a vote on the formation of a BECD.
How would Beach Nourishment be paid for?
- There are three scenarios to fund and implement beach nourishment: (1) Village Wide Tax, (2) FIMP or (3) BECD.
- Village Wide Tax: Total cost and individual tax payments would be determined by the Village and borne 100% by the Village taxpayers. Financing would be secured through the Village of Quogue and the expense shared by all Village taxpayers. Both Southampton and Quogue have AAA credit ratings, which will ensure a favorable financing rate.
- Estimated cost for restoration of approximately 1 mile (6,700 linear feet) is $11.7 million and is subject to change without notice and represents the best available information as well as certain assumptions.
- Estimated cost to the taxpayer is approximately $400 per $1 million of assessed value over 10 years. This calculation assumes a 10-year bond at 3.25% interest, with the cost of annual repayment allotted pro rata by the assessed value of each property. This results in an annual cost to repay the bond of approximately $1.4 million. The calculated additional tax rate is $0.40 per $1,000 of assessed value. Therefore, a home and lot valued at $1,000,000 would pay an additional $400 annually for 10 years. The assessed value of the Village ($3.4 billion) was sourced from the tax rolls on the Village web site.
- This estimate assumes efficiencies of scale by separately contracting with Army Corps sub-contractors while on location for East Quogue and Hampton Bays.
- 5 % of work is insured by the Federal government and New York State in the event of a declared national disaster emergency.
- Fire Island Montauk Point (“FIMP”): 100% federally funded project by the Army Corps of Engineers with public access requirements and Village funded annual maintenance.
- 100% funded by federal government and next 30 years of maintenance is cost shared. The local cooperator (Town or Village) is responsible for approximately 11% of maintenance costs. This is a relatively small unknown number as the scope of the project is under review based on the increased erosion. Regardless the federal and state governments are picking up almost 90% of these costs. The Federal Government also guarantees restoration of the project if is damaged or destroyed in a federally declared emergency (such as Superstorm Sandy).
- Public access (parking and beach access) on an equitable basis to meet local demand is a prerequisite to any federal expenditure for beach restoration.
- For example, the Town of Southampton Parks & Recreations sells a non-resident season pass ($400/car in 2020) or a non-resident day pass ($30/car in 2020). It is possible this is the same way public access could be handled in Quogue.
- It is not feasible to have the Army Corps do the work and then pay them to work around public access. Army Corps must include public access as public funds are used.
- Beach Erosion District (“BECD)”: a district of homeowners along the eastern portion of the beach sought to privately fund the vast majority of the cost, with the small section of the Village Beach potentially paid for by the general taxpayers. A BECD constructed beach restoration is a public facility and thus is eligible for up to 87.5% repayment in the event the beach is damaged or destroyed during a federally declared emergency.
How does this affect me if I don’t live on Dune Road or use the Quogue Village Beach?
.“We believe that the beach is a collective asset of all citizens.” -Quogue Trustees Decision, June 21, 2019, page 3
- Home values are directly correlated to Quogue Village Beach. Home values are estimated to be worth substantially less (20-50% less) if there is no public beach.
- In the last 12 month period there have been 81 sales in Quogue generating total dollar volume sales of $257, 167, 753. The median Quogue sale price is $2.3 million and the average sale price is $3,174,911. See Long Island Edition of the Real Estate Report.
- In the last 12 month period there have been 89 sales in Remsenburg generating total dollar volume sales $ 117,377,945. The median Remsenburg sale price is $1,305,000 and the average sale price is $1,318,853. See Long Island Edition of the Real Estate Report.
- The homes along Dune Road represent 25% of Quogue’s tax base.
- Property values have soared in the communities of Sagaponack, Bridgehampton, Westhampton and Westhampton Dunes where Beach Nourishment has been done.
- If you rent out your home for any part of the summer season, your rental value will be substantially less without a Village Beach.
How do you know this will work?
- Beach nourishment has been successfully implemented in numerous jurisdictions along the East Coast of the United States and locally on Long Island (Westhampton, Westhampton Beach, West Hampton Dunes, Sagaponack, Bridge Hampton, Water Mill and Fire Island to name a few of the many projects).
- If the nourished sand is removed during a storm, that means it did its job protecting the barrier island from being breached and homes and resources being damaged or destroyed.
- Almost universally where restoration has been done, the damage is massively higher in the unrestored areas.
What is the difference between "beach nourishment" and "scraping" or other remedial efforts?
- Beach Nourishment is the placement of new sand to restore the beach to a previous condition and to protect against future erosion.
- Beach scraping is the redistribution of sand that is already on the beach.
- The Village has spent $200,000 tax dollars on beach scraping over the last 10 years.
- Other remedial efforts include trucking in sand which the Trustees state is not a long-term solution and is much more expensive than beach nourishment from an ocean source.
The beach “comes and goes.”
- The beach just goes and doesn’t come back.
- The beach is monitored and measured by Coastal Science and Engineering, the Quogue Village consultant. It has been proven that the eastern portion of Quogue beach is continuously eroding.
- The Quogue Public Beach has never been this narrow, and without the geo-cubes installed in 2010, the Snail House and the beach facilities would have fallen into the Ocean.
- During the successive and continuous Fall 2019 storms, the beaches of Westhampton, Westhampton Beach, West Hampton Dunes, Sagaponack, Bridgehampton, Water Mill have not been compromised and the beaches are performing well due to beach nourishment programs, whereas the Quogue beach is being devastated.
- The Trustees June 21, 2019 Decision acknowledges that beach nourishment is the best long-term solution.
Are geo-cubes, geo-tubes and rock revetments causing the problem?
- There are 27 installations of shoreline stabilization with geosynthetics and rock revetments from the Surf Club to 208 Dune Road.
- If these remediation efforts cause erosion, then we would see the impact everywhere along the Quogue beach.
- The erosion is focused on a small area of Quogue Beach due to the interruption of sand at the Shinnecock Inlet and gaps in the offshore bar caused by sand at the Shinnecock Inlet and gaps in the offshore bar caused by sand starvation.
- To the contrary, as you can see on the beach today, the geo-cubes have done their job and saved the Village Beach from a breach.
- However, the GeoCubes are now exposed and battered and cannot offset the erosion that can only be resolved through off-shore dredging and beach nourishment.