Officials in Montauk, frustrated by ongoing problems with beach erosion, determined last week to just give up on the beach and build a huge wall to keep the ocean out of the village.
When news of the decision reached the public, Montauk erupted in protests, and police were called to keep the peace. Officials were unwavering, however.
“People from elsewhere don’t understand,” said one official familiar with the deliberations. “They think the ocean is some kind of playground. But when you live year-round out here, and you see the way the ocean can mess with you, the love affair is over pretty quick. As for me, I’d rather not see the water at all.”
If the wall plan goes through, this official might get his wish. The plan calls for the construction of a thick, massive 30-foot stone wall along the shoreline of Montauk hamlet as a replacement for the artificial dunes, which have proven so deficient over the past year.
“There’ll still be plenty of places to go down to the water,” remarked the official, “but the water won’t be running down our streets.”