Fisherman fish for bass in Shinnecock Inlet off Shinnecock Inlet...

Fisherman fish for bass in Shinnecock Inlet off Shinnecock Inlet County Park East in the Town of Southampton. (Oct. 3, 2005) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

More than $5 million in federal funds will help pay for dredging Shinnecock Inlet and restoring West of Shinnecock Inlet, a section of beach that has experienced severe erosion, Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) announced Friday.

The full $5.1 million will be paid by the Army Corps Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies Program, said the lawmaker, who helped secure the funds.

The dredging "will protect the marine infrastructure and restaurants in the area, and the more than 500 jobs they support," Bishop said in a statement. "At the same time, it will ensure continued safe access to New York's second-busiest fishing port."

Sand from the dredging of the inlet will be transferred to the beach, which has been eroded by powerful storms.

The money comes less than two months after state officials announced $109.3 million in funding for six coastal erosion projects on Long Island, including the Shinnecock Inlet dredging, which would receive $11.3 million under the NY Works economic development program.

Under that program, New York State would invest $22.65 million and $86.65 million would come from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"This is really fantastic news," said Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst in a statement. "We have been working closely with the congressman for months to make our case to the Army Corps about the importance of investing in the Shinnecock Inlet, and the urgency of doing so quickly."

Bishop said the contract to begin the work will be awarded by the end of September and the job finished by January.

Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

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