Fire Island to Montauk Point, NY

Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction

Published March 1, 2019

DESCRIPTION: The authorized project provides for hurricane protection and beach erosion control along five reaches of the south shore of Long Island between Fire Island Inlet and Montauk Point, a distance of approximately 83 miles. The project also authorizes Federal participation in periodic nourishment. The sponsor is the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. In 1978, the Department of the Interior (DOI) supported by other agencies referred the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the authorized project to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) as unacceptable. In June 1978, CEQ recommended project reformulation to the Chief of Engineers, who in turn directed the District to reformulate the project. Reformulation was originally initiated in 1980; however, because of difficulties between the Federal, State and County in proceeding with the Westhampton reach, which at the time was the most vulnerable reach of the authorized project, the Reformulation was suspended. Based on letters of intent to support an interim plans, the Reformulation study was resumed in 1994. Work on the Reformulation study is currently ongoing, with several interim projects already constructed for critical vulnerable areas. 

AUTHORIZATION: The project was authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 14 July 1960 in accordance with House Document 425 and subsequently modified by the River & Harbor Act of 1962, and the Water Resources Development Acts of 1974, 1986 and 1992.

In response to the 2012 Sandy event, P.L. 113-2, The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, will provide the required Federal funds to complete the Reformulation study and to complete Reformulation initial construction, including both stabilization efforts, at 100% Federal cost.


Previously completed work: 

SOUTHAMPTON to BEACH HAMPTON: 2 groins constructed at Georgica Pond in 1965. 

MORICHES INLET TO SHINNECOCK INLET: 11 groins constructed in the Westhampton Beach area in 1965. Additional 4 groins with beach and dune fill placed west of the 11-groin field in 1969-1970. The Westhampton Interim Project, which included groin modification and beach fill within and west of the 15-groin field, was completed in December 1997. The West of Shinnecock Interim Project, which includes beach fill west of the Shinnecock navigation channel, was completed in March 2005.

Current ongoing study effort:

FIRE ISLAND TO MONTAUK POINT (FIMP) REFORMULATION STUDY: The goal of the Reformulation Study is to identify storm risk management within the overall study area. All efforts, in cooperation between the Corps, State of New York and Department of the Interior, are currently focused on finalization of the Final General Reformulation Report and Final Environmental Impact Statement, which will make the final recommendations for project features. This effort is being completed at 100% Federal expense and is expected to be completed by late 2019.  After final report approvals, including a Chief's Report, a Project Partnership Agreement would need to be executed with the State of New York, allowing for initial construction of the various recommended FIMP project features at 100% Federal expense.

Interim and Stabilization Efforts: 

State, local and congressional interests requested that the Corps provide immediate remedial actions for critical vulnerable areas. These interim and stabilization actions will be modified, as necessary, based on the ultimate recommendations of the Fire Island to Montauk Point (FIMP) Reformulation Study.

BREACH CONTINGENCY: Provided a mechanism for rapid breach closure of the barrier islands through the 83-mile project area. A Breach Contingency Plan was approved in February 1996. Under the approved Project Cooperation Agreement, the Corps was authorized to execute specific PPA’s with the State of New York in order to close breaches immediately after coastal storms. The Sandy storm event of October 2012 resulted in damages to Long Island's barrier beaches. This event breached the barrier island in several locations on Long Island, specifically at Cupsogue County Park and Smith Point County Park, leaving the area vulnerable to significant damages. On November 2, 2012, the State of New York formally requested emergency assistance from the Corps to activate the Breach Contingency Plan. Emergency contract actions were issued for both areas. The Cupsogue breach was closed on November 27, 2012, and the Smith Point breach was closed on December 7, 2012. Sandy also caused a third breach within the Fire Island Wilderness Area (Old Inlet area). This breach is currently open, with ongoing monitoring by NPS underway to determine if the breach will close naturally or if it will be necessary to close the breach via a contract action.

WESTHAMPTON INTERIM PROJECT: Provides interim protection to the Westhampton Beach area west of Groin 15 and affected mainland communities north of Moriches Bay. The project provides for a protective beach berm and dune, tapering of existing groins 14 & 15, and construction of an intermediate groin (14a). The project also includes periodic nourishment as necessary to ensure the integrity of the project design, for up to 30 years (thru 2027). Beachfill for this interim project also includes placement within the existing groin field to fill the groin compartments and encourage sand transport to the areas west of groin 15. Initial construction was completed in December 1997 at an approximate cost of $20 million. The project has performed better than anticipated in terms of anticipated cost, project performance and beneficial environmental impacts. The first renourishment effort was completed in February 2001 ($5 million). The second renourishment effort was completed in December 2004 ($4.5 million). A portion of the third renourishment effort was completed in February 2009 ($9.5 million). In response to 2012 Sandy damages, P.L. 113-2, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 funded construction for restoration of this project to its original design template at 100% Federal cost. This construction contract was completed October 2015. The project’s fourth renourishment effort is currently scheduled to start construction in Fall 2019; project plans and specifications are currently under preparation.  Required coastal and environmental monitoring efforts continue every year within the Westhampton project area.

WEST OF SHINNECOCK INTERIM PROJECT: Provided interim protection to the area immediately west of Shinnecock Inlet up to 4,000 feet westerly, which is a potential breach area. The project was intended to provide protection until implementation of Reformulation Study recommendations. This interim project consisted of initial beachfill placement, with 2 anticipated renourishments, for a period not to exceed 6 years (thru 2011). The placement of sand in this area enabled future maintenance dredging of Shinnecock Inlet to bypass sand past the influence of the inlet. Initial beach fill placement was completed in March 2005 at an approximate cost of $4.3 million. No renourishment efforts were ever completed due to lack of funds. This Interim project is considered complete, until a new recommendation is made by the Reformulation Study, or a new decision document is prepared which would approve the extension of interim nourishment efforts. An emergency contract for P.L. 84-99 rehabilitation of this project, which was damaged by both the Irene and Sandy events, was completed by the Corps in January 2013, placing approximately 300k cy of sand west of the inlet to repair the project to pre-storm conditions. In conjunction with this contract, a Memorandum of Agreement was executed between the Corps and NYS for placement of an additional 124k cy of material at Tiana beach. In response to 2012 Sandy damages, P.L. 113-2, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 funded the construction for restoration of this project to its original design template at 100% Federal cost. This work was completed March 2014, placing an additional 450k cy of sand in the project area.

POST-SANDY ONE-TIME STABILIZATION EFFORTS: The Corps and State of New York developed one-time stabilization plans along the Fire Island barrier island and at Downtown Montauk.  These stabilization efforts were one-time placement projects and include no nourishment cycles. The efforts are meant to provide storm management until the implementation and construction of final recommendations of the overall FIMP Reformulation Study.

DOWNTOWN MONTAUK STABILIZATION:  The Downtown Montauk Stabilization Project consists of a one-time construction of reinforced dune with geotextile bags.  The Project Partnership Agreement was executed with the State of New York in March 2015.  The project was completed and turned over to the sponsor for operation and maintenance in May 2017.

FIRE ISLAND STABILIZATION:  The Fire Island Stabilization Project consists of a one-time sand placement along Fire Island, from Robert Moses State Park to Smith Point County Park. The Fire Island Stabilization HSLRR and EA were approved July 2014, with a Project Partnership Agreement executed with the State of New York in August 2014.  In response to the 2012 Sandy event, P.L. 113-2, The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, provides the required Federal funds to complete construction of this Project at 100% Federal cost.  The first construction contract at Smith Point County Park was completed April 2016.  The second construction contract at Robert Moses State Park through Saltaire was completed July 2016. The third construction contract, from Fair Harbor to Seaview was completed November 2017.  The remaining contracts will focus on the Fire Island communities from Ocean Bay Park through Davis Park.  The site preparation contracts for demolitions and relocations are both awarded and in construction.  The beach fill contract for this area is currently scheduled for award in Spring 2019, once the demolition and relocation contracts are substantially complete.  A final contract for relocation of the Ocean Beach water utility is currently in design with expected award summer 2019.


For questions/information regarding the FIMP REFORMULATION STUDY and/or DOWNTOWN MONTAUK STABILIZATION construction project:


Mr. Frank Verga

Project Manager

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District

Phone: (917) 790-8212



For questions/information regarding the FIRE ISLAND STABILIZATION construction project:


Mr. Robert Vohden

Project Manager

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District

Phone: (917) 790-8093