One of the more prominent critics of the Army Corps’ project to rebuild downtown Montauk beaches has been the Surfrider Foundation. To find out more about their opposition to the work, we talked to John Weber, Surfrider’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager.
Surfrider thinks this dune work will “destroy the beach.” How will it do that?
Hard structures cause beaches to disappear, mostly through wave action. If you put a hard structure the path of an incoming wave’s energy, that energy has to go somewhere. Typically, it hits the wall and all of that energy is reflected back out, seaward, and it takes sand with it. Slowly, this make the beach disappear. Contrast this with wave energy dissipating on a gently-sloped beach where there is no reflection of energy and therefore less erosion.