New York Congressman Lee Zeldin announced on February 26 that the Fire Island to Montauk Point project continues to move forward and is now in its design phase.
FIMP is an over $1-billion project that includes funding for essential dredging and shoreline projects spanning 83 miles of coastline, 80 percent of which is in the First Congressional District.
It includes a variety of coastal and wetland restoration projects that will use the natural environment to reduce flooding, erosion, and storm damage, while also preserving the natural environment and habitat for wildlife and provide various coastal management initiatives for the bay side of the barrier beaches.
“FIMP is vital to our local environment, economy and coastal way of life, and the wide-spread devastation in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy emphasized the dire need to ensure our communities are prepared for the future,” said Zeldin.
“Since coming to Congress, I’ve helped move FIMP along and closer to implementation and worked with the Army Corps every step of the way to ensure local projects are prioritized. The launch of FIMP’s design phase is great news for our local shorelines, and I look forward to continuing to move FIMP over the finish line.”
Zeldin’s praise came just days after NY Senator Charles Schumer lambasted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, claiming dredges working on coastal restoration work near Moriches Inlet were diverted to Florida without warning.
Schumer noted the Florida project is near Mar-a-Lago, the Trump family retreat in West Palm Beach. “I write to request that you commit to promptly returning the Weeks Marine dredges. I also write to discern how this decision was made and by whom,” the senator wrote.
Schumer remarks drew a sharp rebuke from Zeldin: “I met with the Army Corps on (February 27) to reiterate the gratitude of the rest of us for their 24/7 operations all up and down our shores.
“Going forward, my message to anyone trying to knock the Army Corps for what they are championing on our behalf is to stand down. Take off the tin foil hat, let the experts do their job and help rather than work against our best interests.”