The Southampton Press published this letter to the editor by Danny Frank, Coordinator of the Save the Dunes and Beaches Foundation.
J. Michael Reinoso never details an actual solution in his Viewpoint, “Beach Nourishment Is Only A Band-Aid—Not a Solution,” [July 10]. Rather, he offers vagueness instead of detailed options supported by research and process.
For example, Mr. Reinoso advocates relocation tax incentives and property buyouts. Has he analyzed the economics of his proposition on taxpayers? What properties would be acquired and how would current tax revenue be replaced? What happens after this relocation/buyout program takes place and another weather-related disaster breaches Quogue again? Who would pay for such an emergency?
Mr. Reinoso takes the statements of former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson out of context: “ … to plan for climate change, we must plan for volatility and disruption.” This is exactly what is under way in Quogue Village, with an ongoing dialogue among residents that began well over a decade ago in the face of ongoing beach erosion.
Plaudits to the Quogue Village Board and the Save the Dunes and Beaches Foundation for proactively filing a diligent application with the State Department of Environmental Conservation for nourishment and restoration that is consistent with other oceanfront beaches in the region, most recently in Sagaponack and Bridgehampton. Are municipalities that have conducted nourishment projects missing the mark?
In citing Michael Bloomberg and Mr. Paulson with their economic predictions about the cost of protecting oceanfront, combined with real estate and commerce, Mr. Reinoso doesn’t address the invaluable economic development that Quogue beach (and neighboring beaches) represents in advancing the entire community’s real estate assets, recreation, leisure, reputation and quality of life. Failure to take responsibility and proactive measures could destroy Quogue’s quality of life, with a loss more severe than when measured against an investment of $10 million to $15 million.
What about access to Dune Road’s beaches? Should roads, too, be allowed to deteriorate, thereby impeding access to Tiana and Cupsogue beaches? Should Quogue property owners say, “Not my problem?” What about our neighbors in East Quogue, Hampton Bays, Westhampton and West Hampton Dunes? It is irresponsible for one link in the necklace of communities to dictate neglect that would affect all. In his ramble, Mr. Reinoso disparages “ … testimony from commercially motivated consultants who stand to benefit enormously from beach engineering interventions.” Who would handle this work other than experienced, credentialed firms with engineering and environmental backgrounds? (Does Mr. Reinoso believe in being compensated for his professional talents in investment management?)
Mr. Reinoso characterizes beach nourishment as a Band-Aid, but a decade-long fix, the industry standard, is hardly temporary.
What will Professor Robert Young say at the Concerned Citizens of Quogue meeting? In his last visit, he described a number of successful nourishment projects. He also acknowledged that some areas of Quogue need beach nourishment.
Coordinator Save the Dunes and Beaches Foundation