With winter storms and consequent erosion approaching, the East Hampton Town Trustees held their first autumn meeting of 2023 on a dark and drizzling Monday evening. They voted to approve a request, on behalf of the Maidstone Club in East Hampton Village, for permission to stabilize two small areas of shoreline on Hook Pond.
Drew Bennett and Steven Giles of D.B. Bennett Engineering detailed the proposed project, which Mr. Giles said is needed after two areas comprising about 65 linear feet of shoreline “sloughed off into the pond” last winter. “We are proposing to restore those areas by supplementing them with compost and mulch, and replanting them with native plants,” as depicted in plans submitted to the trustees in July, he said.
Coir logs, made of interwoven coconut fibers bound together with biodegradable netting, would also be used to stabilize the toe of the shoreline.
Around 50 feet of shoreline must be stabilized near the club’s seventh-hole fairway, with another 15 feet near the fourth hole’s tee box needing the same attention. The latter location is on a small peninsula accessed by a boardwalk.
As custodians, on behalf of the public, of most of the town’s waterways, beaches, and bottomlands outside of Montauk, the trustees must approve such a project. Jim Grimes, who had inspected both areas, told his colleagues that “some of this looks like wind-driven wave action on the shore.” The intention is to “try and get the root mass back in there,” he said. “In truth, it’s a pretty benign project.”
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which must issue a permit for the project, has “no technical comments as of yet,” Mr. Giles said. The proposal will be the subject of a hearing before the village’s zoning board of appeals on Oct. 13.
The six trustees present at the meeting voted to approve the project, contingent on the other agencies’ approval.
Also at the meeting, over which Bill Taylor, a deputy clerk, presided in the absence of Francis Bock, the clerk, the trustees voted to pool money contributed by Sag Harbor Village, Southampton Town, and the Southampton Town Trustees into an escrow account and fund the balance of the 2023 Sag Harbor Water Quality Initiative with a single check payable to the State University of New York’s Research Foundation.
The trustees previously voted to contribute $2,500, as they have in past years, to the monitoring program proposed by Christopher Gobler of Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Sag Harbor Village has pledged $7,500 and Southampton Town and that town’s trustees have each pledged $2,000. Owing to the SUNY Research Foundation’s funding requirements, the East Hampton trustees agreed to pool the money and fund the initiative with a single check in the amount of $14,000.
In other news from Monday’s meeting, Mr. Grimes told his colleagues that Georgica Pond “is very, very high” owing to recent rainfall. For that reason, he said, the fall letting may come ahead of schedule, depending on weather conditions.
The trustees conduct a biannual letting of the pond, typically in the spring and fall, the latter usually in mid-October.
Because the trustees’ next scheduled meeting would fall on Oct. 9, which is Columbus Day, they will instead meet on Oct. 13.