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The Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point (FIMP) Project is designed to reduce storm damage while maintaining or enhancing natural resources.
The Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point, NY (FIMP) Reformulation Study was completed in July 2020.
The FIMP Project was authorized for construction in December 2020.
The FIMP Project is now proceeding through design and into construction. Funds are available from the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, which provides 100% Federal funding for initial construction of the project.
In order to proceed into construction, a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) was entered into between the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and New York State in August 2021. The State executed similar agreements with Suffolk County and five towns (Babylon, Islip, Brookhaven, Southampton, East Hampton).
The current PPA covers the initial construction phase of FIMP. The continued construction of FIMP, over 50 years, (with 30 years of renourishment) will be covered in a separate agreement.
Construction began in September 2021 under Contract 1, which included dredging of Fire Island Inlet, and placement of sand on adjacent beaches. Contract 2, which includes dredging of Shinnecock and Moriches inlets and shoals with sand placement is underway and currently scheduled for completion in March 2023.
Contract 3 of the FIMP Project is a structural contract for shore protection and beach renourishment work, to provide erosion risk reduction via Berm fill to the ocean shoreline, Dune restoration, augmentation of coastal resiliency with restoration of the barrier island, and enhance the overall barrier island and natural system coastal processes. Contract 3 includes offshore dredging and sand placement along the ocean shoreline, to construct an engineered beach and dune system, and offshore channel at Tiana Beach as part of a proactive breach response.
In addition to the proactive breach response, Contract 3 also includes two Coastal Process Features (CPFs #11 and #12) located on the eastern portion of Westhampton Island, west of Shinnecock Inlet and Shinnecock County Park West. CPF #11 is located along the Dune Road bayside shoreline and will consist of fill placement within the offshore channel and along the shoreline as well as groin removal. CPF #12 is located at Tiana Bayside Park and will consist of bayside fill placement along the channel and shoreline and burial existing gabions.
It is anticipated that Contract 3 construction will commence in the End of Summer/Fall of 2025, although this schedule is subject to change, as actual timing will depend on when all real estate interests (easements) are obtained.
For further details, please go to the FIMP website, www.nan.usace.army.mil/FIMP
An engineered beach and dune system provides coastal protection based on engineering calculations following extensive study by USACE. These calculations establish the appropriate width and slope of beaches and the size and location of dunes (where necessary) to protect New York’s shoreline. Engineered beach and dune systems are designed to provide protection from flood and wave damage caused by storms.
The FIMP dune line was determined by USACE taking into effect various factors including the costs and benefits of placing the dune line further south or north and determined the line that provided the best benefit for the cost. The alignment is not straight as it follows the natural contour of the land to match the existing topography.
It is the intention of USACE to incorporate the existing geo-cubes/geo-tubes into the new dune structure. If any trap bags are seaward of the new dune alignment, they will be removed.
Sand will only be placed up to the design elevations. If the existing area has accreted above or to the design elevation at the time that the final design is completed, then no sand will be placed on that dune.
For more detail on the specific areas where dunes and berms are to be built, maps of the Project areas, as well as all Project documents, are available on the USACE website at: https://www.nan.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Projects-in-New-York/Fire-Island-to-Montauk-Point/
It is the responsibility of the Town to obtain access to all the real estate, in the form of perpetual easements, that USACE requires to construct Contract 3 of the Project within the Town of Southampton. In order to construct the dune and beach profile, various pre-construction and construction activities have to take place on approximately 85 private ocean-front parcels along the length of the Project. These activities require USACE, DEC, and the Town to have appropriate access on the parcels.
After extensive engineering studies, cost benefit analyses and consultation with numerous regulatory agencies to assure the desired level of protection, a beach and dune template (location, height and width of sand placement) has been developed and approved for the FIMP Project. Because the beach and dunes must be built to this specific design template, sand must be placed on certain private ocean-front properties.
Perpetual Beach Easement: A Perpetual Beach Easement (“Easement”) grants a legal right to use a limited and clearly defined part of a privately owned property to build this Project. The Easement is termed ‘perpetual’ because as long as the Project remains authorized by Congress and functional, the Non-Federal Sponsors must maintain the ability to access the Project area to perform inspections and maintenance in order to ensure the continued benefit from the Project (see below for other key provisions of the Perpetual Beach Easement). Property owners with mortgages will be required to work with their banks to subordinate their loans to the Easement. There are two types of Perpetual Beach Easements: 1) where the easement area is free of all structures and 2) where the easement area contains a pre-existing structure(s) (such as walkways) which is permitted to remain, be maintained, repaired and restored subject to applicable Federal, State and local laws.
Note about mortgages: A Subordination of Mortgage will be required for all Easement properties which have an existing mortgage. The property owner’s lender will be required to sign a simple agreement, provided by the Town Attorney’s Office, allowing the mortgage to be subordinate to the Easement. This is necessary to ensure that the Easement will stay in effect in the event of foreclosure. When contract terms are met and title has been cleared, a deed or easement will be recorded at the Office of the County Clerk, and the landowner(s) will be paid the just compensation due.
Waiver: The execution of all required Perpetual Beach Easements will be critical to allow this Project to proceed expeditiously. Federal Regulations provide that every property owner has the right to an appraisal for possible compensation in exchange for the granting of the Perpetual Beach Easement. The Waiver document offers the owner an opportunity to waive the right for an appraisal and to donate the Easement to the Town.
In some cases, private ocean-front properties may have pre-existing structures (such as a deck) that compromise the proposed dune template. The options available to property owners in this situation will depend upon the degree and location of the structure’s impact, the configuration of the lot, and whether the structure itself is capable of being relocated.
Process: Once the surveys are completed, all parcels with structures that encroach south of the northern landward crest of the new dune template will be identified. Depending upon the elevation and location, these structures may need to be relocated, modified or removed. In all these instances, an appraisal will be necessary.
Structure Modification/Removal: If a portion of a pre-existing structure, such as a deck or a pool, is found to compromise the dune template and there is no room on the existing lot to relocate or modify the structure to avoid compromising the dune template or it may be too costly to relocate the structure, it may be necessary to remove the structure. If it is determined that a portion of a pre-existing structure such as a deck or a pool may be relocated to another portion of the existing lot, the compensation offered to the owner will include an amount to relocate such structure which is commonly referred to as a “cost to cure.” The cost to cure is in addition to the amount determined by an independent appraiser to be the just compensation for the easement. The actual relocation of the partial structure will be the responsibility of the owner.
Southampton Town Attorney’s OfficeJames Burke, Town AttorneyKelly Doyle, Assistant Town AttorneyTown Hall116 Hampton RoadSouthampton, NY 11968(631) 287-3065Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. Army Corps of EngineersMark Lulka, USACE Project ManagerNew York DistrictPrograms and Project Management Division26 Federal PlazaNew York, NY 10278(917) 790-8205Email: FIMP-Info@usace.army.mil
LINKS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:FIMP website: www.nan.usace.army.mil/FIMP
USACE Overall Project Briefing, August 2022https://www.southamptontownny.gov/DocumentCenter/View/26558/FIMP-Overall-Project-Briefing-to-Communities---Aug-2022?bidId=
Video of FIMP Presentation, Village of Quogue:https://youtu.be/HyhncYqhiZc