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CONVERSATION WITH JOSEPH VIETRI

Director US Army Corps of Engineers National Planning Center For Coastal and Storm damage

North Atlantic Division

In response to New York Times op-ed article on

Beach Replenishment Project

 

 

New York Times Op-Ed Article on Beach Replenishment Project

The Opinion Pages | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

 

A Beach Project Built on Sand

By ROBERT S. YOUNG

AUG. 21, 2014

 

EARLIER this month, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a $207 million plan to dredge millions of tons of sand off the south shore of Long Island and spread it along the beaches and dunes. The Army Corps of Engineers, which will direct the federally financed project, says it will stabilize Fire Island and reduce the storm surge hazard for the mainland.

 

In fact, the project will do neither. It is a colossal waste of money and another consequence of the nationís failure to develop a coherent plan to address the risks from storms faced by states along the eastern seaboard and gulf coast.

 

Robert S. Young is a professor of coastal geology and director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University.

 

A version of this op-ed appears in print on August 22, 2014, on page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: A Beach Project Built on Sand. Order Reprints|Today's Paper|Subscribe

 

 

 

VIETRI'S RESPONSE

Director US Army Corps of Engineers National Planning Center For Coastal and Storm damage

North Atlantic Division

 

 

 

 

Professor Young takes great pains to say what the Corps of Engineers and it's partners ‎are doing is reactive vs proactive yet chooses to make no mention of the many efforts currently underway by the Corps and others including the recent National Research Council report which was funded by the Corps of Engineers and whose findings generally mirror those of the Corps of Engineers North Atlantic Comprehensive study. ‎Professor Young selectively chooses to ignore the vulnerable populations that remain at risk almost two years after Hurricane Sandy and offers only the same old tired position that Coastal Storm Risk Management projects are a waste of money, contrary to the large body of scientific evidence that says otherwise.


Professor Youngs questions the science of the Fire Island to Montauk Point ‎Reformulation effort however, makes no mention of the close to 30 million dollars that have been spent in studying the problems needs and opportunities of the area. The good Professor fails to mention the multi agency collaboration that went into the plan selection nor does he mention that this is a single one time fill placement to stabilize this vulnerable section of shoreline while we complete the entire Reformulation effort. He also conveniently forgets to mention the buyouts and relocation of 40 oceanfront houses or the 500 million dollars that is being considered for elevating 4500 homes in the 10 year floodplain associated with the project.


What professor young in fact offers us is the continuation of his main belief of paralysis by over analysis ‎while ignoring the plight of those who remain vulnerable due to a deteriorated Coastal system.

It is a shame that Professor Young continues to confuse and ignore the need to adapt to the realities of sea level change and that beach nourishment while not the only tool in the tool box is a vital one to be considered and in some cases embraced. Abandon the coast while viable in some locations is certainly not the only answer.

 

Joseph Vietri, Chief Planning & Policy,

Director Corps of Engineers

Planning Center of Expertise for

Coastal and Storm Damage

North Atlantic Division

 

Vietri is currently working on an official response



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