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Donation helps Southold Town fix beach

Town Beach is on North Road and overlooks

Town Beach is on North Road and overlooks the Long Island Sound. During the summer, restrooms, a picnic area and playground are available for visitors. (Feb. 16, 2011) Credit: Erin Geismar

Southold’s Town Beach has been repaired in time for the end-of-school crowd, thanks to a gift of sand and gravel from the Cross Sound Ferry company.

Severe erosion from a December storm led to the closing of the beach, the main one in the town, until it could be replenished. Cross Sound Ferry donated 6,400 cubic yards of a granular sand, dug up from dredging projects.

The company is constantly dredging to be able to navigate their large ferries, said David Kappell, Long Island liaison for Cross Sound Ferry, which departs Orient Point for Connecticut.

Kappell, former mayor of Greenport, said he got the idea when he and the general manager of the ferry service, Richard MacMurray, saw the destruction as they drove past the beach.

The town used the sand mixture from the ferry company as a base, then laid finer sand atop it for the comfort of the beachgoers. Left-over mixture will be used by the highway department for road sanding in the winter, said Town Supervisor Scott Russell.

Russell thanked the owners of the ferry company and said the sand/gravel mixture was worth about $192,000.

“Erosion is an ongoing problem,” he said. “If someone is offering sand, usually we’ll take it.”

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