The work at the entrance to Grand Canal in Lindenhurst...

The work at the entrance to Grand Canal in Lindenhurst includes rebuilding bulkheading that is a century old, dredging and creating a living shoreline. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

The Town of Babylon is working to address longtime erosion at the mouth of a Lindenhurst canal where it meets the Great South Bay.

The work at the entrance to Grand Canal includes rebuilding bulkheading, dredging and creating a living shoreline. Brian Zitani, the town’s waterways management supervisor, said the 100-year-old bulkheads had become a danger to boaters.

"That area has been falling apart for a very long time," Zitani said. "The bulkheads were nonfunctional, and it was becoming a hazard for navigation because pieces of the bulkhead were breaking off and boards were floating around."

Last fall, the town removed the remnants of the bulkheads and Zitani said the new ones will be "pretty much" aligned with what was there previously.

As the bulkheads disintegrated, the back-filled areas on either side of the canal entrance eroded, Zitani said. At low tide the water can drop to less than 3 feet deep, leading to some boaters scraping bottom or running aground.

"Any time we’re doing work like this on a canal entrance, if we can do some maintenance dredging to get the depth of water to what we would like, which is a foot or two deeper than it currently is, we’re going to put that into the plan," he said.

The town would first have to get a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and then bid out for the dredging, Zitani said. Work will not begin until the fall.

The town has designated $102,200 of its $27.77 million federal American Rescue Plan money for L.K. McLean & Associates PC of Brookhaven, which has been hired for design and engineering services.

The town also plans to create a living shoreline using native plants and rocks on a small beach on the end of West Lido Promenade. The property is still privately owned, but Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer said in 2020 that Babylon would seek to take the property due to violations of covenants. Town spokesman Kevin Bonner said last week that the county is now taking the property over thousands of dollars owed in back taxes. Douglas Sutherland, Suffolk County acting chief deputy comptroller, confirmed that the county is in the process of seizing the property.

John Vogt, chairman of the American Venice Civic Association, said residents are looking forward to the town work, which will help boaters and also protect those living on the canal.

"The old bulkheading deteriorated to the point that during high tides boaters were going over the top of it," Vogt said. "All of the people who live on the lower end of the canal, their boats are rocking during storms and that never happened before."

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