Hurricane Hermine does damage to Montauk’s $8.4 million beach project

Nicole Tague, Reporter

Ditch Plains, Montauk is an ideal place for many surfers, beach lovers, and a popular spot for family vacations. It is located at the tip of the South Fork peninsula of Long Island. During Hurricane Sandy, Ditch Plains Beach was heavily affected and some of the impact and damage can still be seen today. The beach suffered a lot of erosion and the hurricane completely destroyed the sand dunes. Some hotels even suffered damage to their foundations.

Three years later after the hurricane in November 2015 a Project was invented by the U.S Army Corps Of Engineers. The goal of the project was to make artificial dunes more than 15 feet high to preserve the beach. The dune would be made up primarily of geotextile sand bags and about 14,000 of them would be buried. This project was created to protect the area and attempt to avoid damage most importantly to the hotels. The project cost about $8.4 million.

Many people were against the plan because they strongly believed it would destroy the beach and leave no room for sitting on the beach with the artificial dune being added. Others disliked ruining a natural sand dune to make room for an artificial one. Facebook pages and petitions were made in an attempt to stop it. Despite the efforts of some local residents to hopefully stop it the project still went underway. During the early days of September this year Hurricane Hermine damaged the Montauk shoreline and Ditch Plains beach.

The hurricane uncovered many of the buried sandbags that were involved in the project. A lot of the sandbags were collected and will be reused to be buried again. The good news is although the beach suffered a lot of erosion none of the hotels were damaged which was the main purpose of the project.