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Rep. Zeldin Breaks Through Red Tape for Dredging of Inlet between Gardiners Bay and Hog Creek

March 31, 2016
Press Release

East Hampton, NY – Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, announced today that he successfully obtained a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit modification to allow the Clearwater Beach Property Owners Association to dredge the inlet between Gardiners Bay and Hog Creek in East Hampton, NY.

In late 2015, Congressman Zeldin’s office was contacted by East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell and the Clearwater Beach Property Owners Association, which represents over 800 homeowners, asking for assistance in their efforts to obtain a permit modification that would allow for the dredging of the inlet between Gardiners Bay and Hog Creek. The dredging has been performed by the Association for over 10 years, but they are only allowed to dredge from September 30 to January 15 of each calendar year, a timeframe intended to protect the spawning of winter flounder. Due to unfavorable weather during the late winter and early spring of 2015, the channel was filled in with coarse sand and gravel, which has made it difficult to navigate the channel. The Association needed to obtain a permit to dredge this area in order to maintain the channel properly.

Congressman Lee Zeldin said, “Through discussions with the Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, East Hampton Town and Clearwater Beach Property Owners Association, my office was able to secure the approval of a project to dredge the inlet between Gardiners Bay and Hog Creek. The dredging, which began on March 30 and will end today, on March 31, will ensure the channel is maintained properly, safeguarding our environment and abundance of natural resources, while ensuring the safety of those who live near and travel the channel.”

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said, “The shoaling at Hog Creek Inlet would have threatened the water quality of this Trustee-owned bottomland and boat access to the two marinas without this modest dredging project. Congressman Lee Zeldin’s efforts to help secure this one-time Army Corps of Engineers exemption made their approval consistent with the New York State DEC and Town dredging permits.”

Gerry Giliberti, President of the Clearwater Beach Property Owners Association, said, “On behalf of over 800 families in the Clearwater Beach community, I would like to thank the offices of Congressman Lee Zeldin and East Hampton Supervisor Larry Cantwell for assisting our community in obtaining the federal, state and town permits for our Hog Creek to Gardiners Bay channel dredging. In addition, thanks goes to Principal Planner, Jim Walker, of Inter-Science who has helped coordinate and apprise these officials of the extremely complex approval processes that are needed for this maintenance dredging project. The members of our community strive to preserve and improve our seaside environment and are grateful for the efforts made by our governmental representatives to help us when we need it.”

James L. Walker, Principal Planner of the Clearwater Beach Property Owner's Association, said, “Thank you to Congressman Lee Zeldin and his staff, and to Supervisor Larry Cantwell. As a result of their collective assistance, the channel from Hog Creek to Gardiners Bay is being dredged with permits issued by federal, state and town officials; despite serious regulatory agency hurdles and time constraints that complicated the approval process.  As a result, the maintenance dredging of this municipal water body will proceed and the tidal exchange between the creek and bay will continue in a manner which will benefit the environment and allow safe navigation.”