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Panel discussion in Bellport on Fire Island breach

A view of the breach caused by superstorm

A view of the breach caused by superstorm Sandy on Fire Island, looking southwest on March 9, 2013. Credit: Doug Kuntz

A Village of Bellport resident has organized a panel discussion Saturday to discuss the breach in the wilderness area of the Fire Island National Seashore.

The cut in the barrier island was one of three created when superstorm Sandy struck the area Oct. 29. Two others have been closed but the third was left open to see if it would close on its own.

The breach has fluctuated in size over the months. The latest figures from the seashore show that the north opening of the breach is 696 feet wide and the south opening is 732 feet wide.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin preparations to close the breach but has not officially requested physical work. The DEC said bids soliciting the work will not be released if the breach closes to a sufficient width.

The meeting is to begin at 12:30 p.m. in the Bellport Middle School Auditorium, 37 Kramer St. in Bellport.

The organizer, Thomas V. Schultz, will moderate the discussion.

Guests include seashore superintendent Christopher Soller, Peconic Baykeeper president Kevin McAllister, Bellport Village Waterfront Commission chairman Joseph Gagliano and Charles Flagg, a research professor at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.

The meeting is open to the public, and comments are limited to 60 seconds each.

Organizers ask that anyone wanting to give public comment arrive 25 minutes before the start of the discussion.


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