East Hampton Town is the recipient of a $9.9 million federal grant to buy up properties in Napeague and Lazy Point that are susceptible to severe flooding and erosion and turn them into storm barriers.
The town partnered with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to seek the grants, with aid from the Nature Conservancy. The money is through the federal government’s Emergency Watershed Protection Program.
Nancy Kelley, the director of the Nature Conservancy on Long Island, said the funding allows property owners, on a voluntary basis, to be moved out of harm’s way, while the coastal floodplain is protected and restored. “Efforts like these, as part of comprehensive plans to manage our coasts in the face of rising seas and excessive nitrogen pollution from wastewater, are vital to ensuring healthier and more resilient coastal communities across Long Island,” she said.
The approximately 16 properties are located on Mulford Lane and Bay View Avenue, some developed and some not. Residences and other structures will be razed.
“We are facing the stark reality that development should not exist along some areas of our coastline where long-term erosion clearly exists and flooding potential in low-lying areas can threaten lives and damage property,” East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said. “With the help of this grant, achieved with the support of the Nature Conservancy and the hard work of Kim Shaw of the Town Natural Resources Department, we can preserve building parcels that will otherwise be developed and eliminate existing development clearly vulnerable to erosion and future storms.”
Shaw said, “We can look forward to this area being restored to natural conditions which will enhance water quality, wildlife habitat and floodplain resiliency.