The story below is from today's Newsday. Is this for real? Does it mean Moriches has been dredged? Or is it an April Fools Day joke.
A dangerously shoaled channel through Shinne**** Inlet and into the Atlantic Ocean is being remarked by the U.S. Coast Guard to give fishing vessels and pleasure boats a measure of safety.
The channel within the inlet had been marked by the Coast Guard to show the deepest part of the inlet, after a previously dredged channel had filled with sand.
But recently a survey showed that the old channel had opened again naturally and had about 13 feet of water at low tide - three feet deeper than where the marked channel was - so the markers have been moved again to show the deepest waters.
Two commercial fishing boats struck sandbars near Shinne**** Inlet recently, one becoming grounded for several hours, the other damaging a rudder.
"What happens out there depends on how the wind blows and the tide runs," said Southampton Trustee Edward Warner Jr. "The channel moves. I guess the dredged channel filled in ... and over the winter it opened up again."
He said the Coast Guard surveyed the inlet three weeks ago and found the old channel was almost 13 feet deep and 200 feet wide. "That's good enough to take [fishing] boats out."
Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) has been working on the dredging issue and is also looking for ways to add sand to build up the eroding beaches on the South Shore. He has brokered an agreement to do both at once.
The Corps of Engineers had been preparing to bring sand to the eroded beach at Smith Point County Park - where the Flight 800 Memorial was built - by pumping it from a nearby offshore location.
Instead, Bishop was able to get the Corps to pull the sand from the silted Moriches Inlet, using the same $6 million that had been budgeted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the beach restoration work.
"It was a twofer," Bishop said. "We were able to get Moriches Inlet dredged earlier ... and we freed up $2.2 million, which can now be used for the dredging of Shinne**** Inlet."
While the beach nourishment work was to take place this year, the work on Moriches Inlet had been scheduled for the federal fiscal year that begins in October and would not have begun until 2009.
The Shinne**** Inlet project will cost about $10 million, of which $7 million will be federally funded.
Bishop said that with the new agreement, using the $2.2 million freed from the Moriches project, he will have to find only $5 million more to redredge the navigation channel through Shinne**** Inlet.
This post edited by 21striper 03:30 PM 04/01/2008