Cathy Lester lost the election to Republican Jay Schneiderman, a Montauk motel owner who pilloried her for aThreeMileHarbordredging project putting spoil on Sammys Beach, a Town nature preserve. Ironically, Cathy’s family had donated Sammys Beach to the Town decades before. Jay took office and his new broom swept clean. The LWRP went on the shelf.
Lacking a last piece of Town legislation, it languished until an ex-police lieutenant, Bill McGintee, was elected Supervisor with a Democratic board, and in 2006 secured State approval. The LWRP is now the coastal component of the Town’s updated Comprehensive Plan.
Has anything changed? Perhaps not much externally, but I’ve changed.WindwardShoresremains after three decades without a major hurricane. Fewer timber groins and giant boulders are installed along the beaches. Erosion continues.
Shoreline processes reflect a lot about the nature of change, in the environment, in politics, life. Change is constant, dynamic, often unexpected, sometimes gradual, sometimes in big bites.
Two years ago Job Potter and I hiked the East Hampton shore from Sag Harbor east along the bay to Montauk Point, then back west on the ocean beach to the Southampton line in Wainscott. We went one morning a week, started in October and finished in April.
Erosion cuts back bluffs leaving stairs dangling in space. Blowing sand builds dunes up or blows them out. Human detritus wears down into oceanic entropy, driftwood. Wetlands and seaweed persist. I rejoice again, as I did as a child, in seashells and sand patterns, hoodoos and glacial pebbles, the fierce wild energy of the beach and its vast serenity.
Another coastal plan remains to be written. Like King Canut those in power would deny the rising seas and increasing storms of global warming. They do so at our collective peril.
S. O. B.!