On Thursday afternoon, October 3, Dan’s Papers held the ribbon cutting for our newest effort, a $30,000,000 sand replenishment project that will result in a new carpet of more than a hundred million tons of sand along the full 4.3 mile stretch of beach between the East Hampton Town Line and the inlet at Flying Point Beach.
Dan Rattiner, President and Editor in Chief of Dan’s Papers, is shown digging the first shovelful of sand. Eric Feil, the Editorial Director for Print and Digital, is cutting the ribbon. Behind them, farther down the beach toward the sea, stands Web Editor Brendan J. O’Reilly, shovel at the ready, alongside the first pile of sand brought in by Dan’s Papers sub-contractor, the Bayonne and Hoboken Sea Bottom Sand Suck Corporation (BHSBSSC.) Work will proceed over the winter. The beach may be shut down from time to time, but you can always walk around the heavy equipment. The whole project should be completed by April, with a flat sand beach 100 yards from dune to surf line and 10 feet higher than it is now for the full 4.3-mile stretch.
This project was originally the dream of several hundred homeowners who live along the ocean on this 4.3-mile stretch. To accomplish this, they first proposed to form their own incorporated village, to be known as Dunehampton. Dan’s Papers went to talk to them at that time, and we told them you could not legally form a village without 2,500 people in a community. So their proposal to make it as a pencil-thin new village running for miles and miles and just for 240 people would never be approved.
Instead, we told them that if they formed a separate real estate tax district within the town of Southampton and offered to raise the money to pay for a special sand replenishment project from funding within that district, we would support it. As a result, they did that, the Town has approved it, and all that was needed were the funds.
It was at that point we were approached once again by these very rich and important people. As they said, they didn’t get rich by spending money wildly, and they were not going to do so now. This had been our idea. Could Dan’s Papers afford to fund it?
We said we could consider it. We think it’s important for the local economy to have wealthy homes sitting just atop the dunes on the beach facing out to the sea. These 240 homes provide jobs for us, for the landscapers, housekeepers, house-watchers, caterers, chefs, lawn mowers, fence builders, nannies, drivers and roofers and carpenters who live in our community. Without them—and they would be leaving if their mansions fell into the sea—we would be left without jobs. So we have taken it on!
We just wanted one thing. If we provide the money, we asked the oceanfront homeowners, could our name be on this project? They saw no problem with that. And so, as a result, we put up the cash, rolled up our sleeves and went to work, hiring planners, architects, environmental experts and contractors, and now we have had our ribbon-cutting on Thursday, with members of the press and TV networks and cable present to applaud our efforts.
Thus, the first shovelful has been dug. Next, over the next four months, all the rest of the 140 million tons of sand will arrive to be smoothed out democratically, according to the plans. On April 1, we expect to have the project completed—an oceanfront community without a care or worry about their homes, able to swim and play tennis and hold parties and fundraisers.
Let those hurricanes come. We are proud to help our neighbors—rich or poor, it makes no difference. We are Hamptonites, all.
Special thanks to 75 Main for providing our models Katya Noskova and Natasha Saroka.