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State replenishing sand eroded by winter storms at Gilgo Beach

A truck dumps sand at Gilgo Beach State

A truck dumps sand at Gilgo Beach State Park in Babylon on Monday as the state began bringing in 5,000 cubic yards of sand to repair damage from winter storm erosion. Credit: Barry Sloan

This week the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation begins a project to replenish sand eroded this winter at Gilgo Beach State Park.

Officials said about 5,000 cubic yards of sand will be trucked in from an emergency stockpile at Robert Moses State Park, about 10 miles east, to replenish the sand lost at the entrance to Gilgo — and then eastward.

The project, expected to last two to three weeks, became necessary after two big winter nor'easters — one in December and another in January — exposed the foundation of the old U.S. Coast Guard Station that once stood at Gilgo, officials said.

"Gilgo Beach is an area where we've consistently seen erosion through the years," State Parks spokesman George Gorman Jr. said Monday, adding that officials believe remnants of the old Coast Guard station foundation and bulkheading have been a factor in making the area especially vulnerable to storm erosion.

Other South Shore state beaches fared far better through winter storms, Gorman said, and are in no such need of replenishment.

Access to Gilgo is via four-wheel drive vehicle only and requires a state permit. The park is a carry in and carry out facility used mostly by anglers and state sport fishing permits are required for entry. Special surfing access permits also are available, starting April 1, when the beach opens.

Gorman said the sand replenishment project became necessary so four-wheel drive vehicles could access the beach. The project is expected to be completed in time for the April 1 opening.

Motorists are advised that during the project there may be minor traffic delays on Fire Island Inlet Bridge, Robert Moses Causeway and Ocean Parkway to allow for trucks transporting sand for the replenishment.

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