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Park Service’s breach findings should be released ‘in the coming weeks’

'The Breach' set to make December debut in Sag Harbor

The federal government will soon let it be known whether or not it intends to close the Fire Island breach at Old Inlet.

The Draft Fire Island Wilderness Breach Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement should be released “in the coming weeks,” said Elizabeth Rogers, a spokeswoman for Fire Island National Seashore.

There will then be a 45-day public review of its findings and comment period.

Comments will be accepted online at the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment website and by mail. A public meeting will be also be held at Fire Island National Seashore’s Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal.

Click here for more breach coverage from greaterpatchogue.com.

The 1,500-wide breach was ripped open during superstorm Sandy in 2012, after which several public officials up and down the South Shore immediately called for its closure — fearing bay waters would rise and lead to repeated flooding of shoreline homes.

Proponents of keeping the breach open, including leading marine scientists on Long Island, contend the breach is not causing bay waters to rise.

Not only that, it’s making for a cleaner bay and healthier ecosystem, they say.

Those are the major issues the National Park Service, which controls the property, is grappling with as it decides on whether or not to initiate a closure of the breach, which would be conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Impact Statement was initially expected to be released in September.

Brookhaven Town officials, including Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilman Michael Loguercio, have called on the federal government to leave it alone.

Photo: A still from the documentary called The Breach, released last year.

Breach Plan Eis 508 Newsletter 2 Oct 2016 2

About the author: Michael White

Michael White is a Bellport resident, longtime newspaper reporter and editor, and the owner of greaterpatchogue.com. Email him your story ideas or tips: mike@greaterpatchogue.com