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Letter: Dune plan halt may condemn homes

Aerial photo of the breach at the Otis

Aerial photo of the breach at the Otis Pike High Dunes Wildneress at the Fire Island National Seashore. (Jan. 6, 2013) Credit: Handout, Stony Brook University

A federal judge recently halted the planned dune replenishment slated for Fire Island between Smith Point County Park and Lighthouse Beach ["Fire Island: Suspension of dune project rapped," News, Sept. 18].

This stop-work order was the result of a lawsuit by the Audubon Society. The judge said she considered the impact on the piping plover, an endangered species. This part of Fire Island is across from the Village of Mastic Beach, which had severe damage during the Irene and Sandy storms. By halting the dune replenishment, the judge has essentially declared the people of Mastic Beach to be an endangered species.

My Mastic Beach home faces Fire Island. My grandfather built this home in 1932, and my wife and I have strong roots in the community. We don't want to leave. However, if a hurricane or a nor'easter should hit hard, we and our neighbors could lose our homes.

If this should happen, the Audubon Society should be held liable for any damage to Mastic Beach.

In Europe, there are many projects completed or underway to prepare for rising sea levels. London has floodgates on the Thames. Venice and St. Petersburg are building massive flood-control structures. The Netherlands has survived being below sea level.

So, will we also prepare or all just move to the North Shore?

Frederick Schaefer, Mastic Beach