East Hampton Town will use a $10 million federal grant to buy up coastal properties in an erosion-prone part of town in order to knock down houses and forestall future development there, town officials said.
Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said Tuesday in a statement that the Emergency Watershed Protection Program grant will enable the town to turn more than a dozen properties into a protective buffer against storms.
"We are facing the stark reality that development should not exist along some areas of our coastline where long-term erosion clearly exists and flooding potential in low-lying areas can threaten lives and damage property," Cantwell said.
The town will buy about 16 lots, some of which are developed, from property owners in the Lazy Point section of Amagansett, Cantwell said. Houses and other structures will be razed, he said. The program will target Mulford Lane and Bay View Avenue, two streets along Napeague Bay that have been battered by erosion and flooding.
Town natural resources director Kim Shaw said Tuesday in a statement that the grant will allow the town to "preserve building parcels that will otherwise be developed and eliminate existing development clearly vulnerable to erosion and future storms."
Steve Graboski, a Bay View Avenue property owner, said in the statement that nor'easters have been "chipping away at the shoreline over the years" and the program will allow residents to "reclaim the value of their properties."
Nancy Kelley, the Long Island director for The Nature Conservancy, said the purchases will restore the "coastal floodplain and the many natural benefits it provides to people and nature."