Push to Dredge Jones Inlet Now

george

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Dec 19, 2018
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Three New York lawmakers cited "dangerously shallow waters" in Jones Inlet in requesting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expedite a plan to dredge the waterway before this year's boating season instead of in the fall.

In a letter Tuesday, U.S. Sens Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice, cited an "urgent need" to clear the widely used inlet, which has experienced increased shoaling and led to at least one boater mishap tied to the deaths of two passengers.

"We strongly urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to immediately undertake all appropriate measures necessary to dredge Jones Inlet … before summer of 2022," the lawmakers wrote, saying "dangerously shallow waters in this critical gateway are forcing" boaters to remain "inside the bay."

Nassau has around 32,000 registered boaters, 20 commercial partyboats and eight commercial trawlers, the lawmakers noted, advocating for the City of Long Beach and Town of Hempstead.

Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin joined with Schumer last year to urge the federal government to streamline emergency dredging.

"The dredging of Jones Inlet is an important project to help improve boater safety and protect the local ecosystem of this seaside community," Clavin said.

Conditions at the inlet have reduced water depths at the critical passageway to around three feet, they said. "During periods of low tide, storms or heavy winds can quickly create deadly waves capable of curling and capsizing any boat." They cited a May 2020 mishap when a recreational boat flipped over due to the inlet's condition, killing two passengers

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) said the inlet, which was previously dredged every six years, hadn't been scoured since 2014.

"It's very overdue. The lack of action is extremely concerning and it shouldn't take another death to get the federal government moving," Kaminsky said. "It's a pivotal chokepoint and anyone on South Shore waters knows it’s critical. When the wind blows the right way, the waves are furious and it can be treacherous."

Schumer, Rice and Gillibrand also cited potential economic impacts of limited access through the inlet.

"Many large commercial fishing boats that attract customers by going out of the ocean must now remain inside the bay, leaving their passengers with fewer opportunities to catch fish big enough to keep," they wrote, adding some "may be forced to close."

A spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps didn't immediately provide a comment in response to the letter.

The effort to dredge the inlet has been led by Mike Jacobs, an Wantagh fishermen who started a Facebook page to drum up support and has been imploring officials to dredge the inlet before this year's boating season.

"Jones Inlet has been deemed impassable due to shoaling and dangerous waves breaking right in the middle of the red and green buoys," he wrote in a recent email blast. "The buoys set out by the Coast Guard/Army Corps of Engineers are useless and an absolute threat to any boat navigating that inlet."

Jacobs noted that the inlet wasn't scheduled for dredging until October at the earliest. "That means it will not be ready for boats to navigate through the inlet until the spring of 2023," he wrote. "What that also means is Jones Inlet will basically be closed to boating traffic for the entire year of 2022."
 

Roccus7

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Dec 22, 2018
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Three New York lawmakers cited "dangerously shallow waters" in Jones Inlet in requesting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expedite a plan to dredge the waterway before this year's boating season instead of in the fall.

In a letter Tuesday, U.S. Sens Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice, cited an "urgent need" to clear the widely used inlet, which has experienced increased shoaling and led to at least one boater mishap tied to the deaths of two passengers.

"We strongly urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to immediately undertake all appropriate measures necessary to dredge Jones Inlet … before summer of 2022," the lawmakers wrote, saying "dangerously shallow waters in this critical gateway are forcing" boaters to remain "inside the bay."

Nassau has around 32,000 registered boaters, 20 commercial partyboats and eight commercial trawlers, the lawmakers noted, advocating for the City of Long Beach and Town of Hempstead.

Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin joined with Schumer last year to urge the federal government to streamline emergency dredging.

"The dredging of Jones Inlet is an important project to help improve boater safety and protect the local ecosystem of this seaside community," Clavin said.

Conditions at the inlet have reduced water depths at the critical passageway to around three feet, they said. "During periods of low tide, storms or heavy winds can quickly create deadly waves capable of curling and capsizing any boat." They cited a May 2020 mishap when a recreational boat flipped over due to the inlet's condition, killing two passengers

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) said the inlet, which was previously dredged every six years, hadn't been scoured since 2014.

"It's very overdue. The lack of action is extremely concerning and it shouldn't take another death to get the federal government moving," Kaminsky said. "It's a pivotal chokepoint and anyone on South Shore waters knows it’s critical. When the wind blows the right way, the waves are furious and it can be treacherous."

Schumer, Rice and Gillibrand also cited potential economic impacts of limited access through the inlet.

"Many large commercial fishing boats that attract customers by going out of the ocean must now remain inside the bay, leaving their passengers with fewer opportunities to catch fish big enough to keep," they wrote, adding some "may be forced to close."

A spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps didn't immediately provide a comment in response to the letter.

The effort to dredge the inlet has been led by Mike Jacobs, an Wantagh fishermen who started a Facebook page to drum up support and has been imploring officials to dredge the inlet before this year's boating season.

"Jones Inlet has been deemed impassable due to shoaling and dangerous waves breaking right in the middle of the red and green buoys," he wrote in a recent email blast. "The buoys set out by the Coast Guard/Army Corps of Engineers are useless and an absolute threat to any boat navigating that inlet."

Jacobs noted that the inlet wasn't scheduled for dredging until October at the earliest. "That means it will not be ready for boats to navigate through the inlet until the spring of 2023," he wrote. "What that also means is Jones Inlet will basically be closed to boating traffic for the entire year of 2022."


LOL, getting the ACOE to dredge BEFORE Summer, 2022?? Like they could get the EPA to approve anything that quickly, even if they could amass the necessary paperwork. For that matter, Schumer should know better since he can't get anything done in a timely manner...

Speaking of which @george what's your take on the Nissequogue dredging? My friends there felt it was more of the SOS, "too little too late." Hope they're incorrect...
 
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Roccus7

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@Roccus7 The only reason they might get it right is because NYSDEC is now headquarted there and they will need reliable access.
Friend said they dredged the inner river fine, but the job on the bars outside the inlet was dismal. DEC shouldn't have any problem playing with their boats in the river, BUT you're looking at a real adventure coming in from/heading out to the Sound between tide being 1/2 out and 1/2 in...
 
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Aquarius

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Dec 21, 2018
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They are currently dredging Fire Island Inlet. I seem to remember they dredged there 2 or 3 years ago. That inlet gets dredged often because they use the sand to fill in Gilgo beach. Jones Inlet sand goes to Long Beach. I don't really care about the shore and the bathers. Safe navigation should be the priority. Jones is dangerous. Breakers across the channel even on days where the offshore conditions were relatively calm.
 

Snapprhead27

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May 21, 2020
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They are currently dredging Fire Island Inlet. I seem to remember they dredged there 2 or 3 years ago. That inlet gets dredged often because they use the sand to fill in Gilgo beach. Jones Inlet sand goes to Long Beach. I don't really care about the shore and the bathers. Safe navigation should be the priority. Jones is dangerous. Breakers across the channel even on days where the offshore conditions were relatively calm.
The old coast guard foundation is starting to show at Gilgo. That stretch took a beaten recently.
 

Pangaroo

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Jan 15, 2021
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Dredge a deep channel alongside the East Jetty. Party boats come in very close to the East Jetty for a reason. Most of the time the big breaking waves are going in a Northwest Direction across the inlet and start breaking in the middle . You dredge a channel in the middle and nothing will change. I ran aground in Jones Inlet one time with a Downeaster . I was 250 feet off the East Jetty and 3/4's of the way out. My keel is really deep . Luckily my boat is like a sled and just gun the engine and it slid off. The 3-4 minutes on the sandbar was terrifying. Tide was moving out like a river.
 
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Aquarius

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Dec 21, 2018
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This is a video I just posted on YouTube. I have a dashboard camera with front and rear view on my boat. The aspect ratio is a little off so I need to work on my video editing skills a bit. Despite, I think this shows the typical conditions in Jones Inlet.

This was taken on June 5, 2021. I got a report from a buddy half hour before that said the ocean was beautiful but the inlet was nasty so I decided to give it a try. The current was going out and the tide was about half way down. Low slack was about 1:00PM so the trip back in wasn't as bad as the trip out.

I can't believe that we will have to deal with this all summer 2022. It is only a matter of time before someone gets killed running this inlet. We all know it's going to happen!

 

Pangaroo

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Jan 15, 2021
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Glad I'm trailering this summer and can avoid that Inlet. I went out that Inlet for the first time in the 1960's , probably went thru that inlet over 500 times and I'm always scared. When you get broadsided by a big wave in the inlet and the boat turns on it's side It feels like time stops and you forget everything you're thinking about. Wear your life jacket this summer.
 
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Leprechaun

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Looks very familiar. Nasty inlet, very decent ocean. I assume you stayed out until it went incoming.

Send that vid to Schumer, Gillibrand and Rice.

Be sure to tell them that it was considered a "Calm" day in JI.

This coming season is gonna have some nail-biter inlet transits, for sure.
 

OVERBORED

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Jan 6, 2021
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I remember being on the starstream getting spun around like a toy in that inlet.

Is there any inlet on the east coast that isn't a hazard to navigation under certain conditions?

I'm not so sure there's an easy solution.
 
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Roccus7

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I remember being on the starstream getting spun around like a toy in that inlet.

Is there any inlet on the east coast that isn't a hazard to navigation under certain conditions?

I'm not so sure there's an easy solution.
You hit the nail on the head there. When a less than expansive inlet is oriented such that a strong outgoing tide hits an incoming strong wind, significant standing waves will set up, it's just basic hydrology.

That puts all of LI's south shore inlets in the "HOLY CRAP" category in that they face south and the predominate summer wind is the Sou'wester.

Yes definitely sucks, but you don't want to make it a habit to return home on a moon outgoing tide on a late summer afternoon...
 
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Pangaroo

Angler
Jan 15, 2021
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I remember being on the starstream getting spun around like a toy in that inlet.

Is there any inlet on the east coast that isn't a hazard to navigation under certain conditions?

I'm not so sure there's an easy solution.
Having the channel right next to the East Jetty you wouldn't have the the big breaking waves . Florida inlets are the absolute worst. I think it's called Haulover Inlet, it's on You Tube. Jones Inlet is mild compared to what they have.
 

Aquarius

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Dec 21, 2018
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Woodcleft Canal, Freeport, New York
Looks very familiar. Nasty inlet, very decent ocean. I assume you stayed out until it went incoming.

Send that vid to Schumer, Gillibrand and Rice.

Be sure to tell them that it was considered a "Calm" day in JI.

This coming season is gonna have some nail-biter inlet transits, for sure.
Incoming started in the afternoon. I remember coming back about 3PM and the inlet was not bad at all. Huge difference from the morning.

I will have to search their web sites for their email addresses. I will attach the YouTube link and if I word things properly, hopefully what ever staffer reads their emails will pass along the video.
 
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Aquarius

Angler
Dec 21, 2018
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Woodcleft Canal, Freeport, New York
Having the channel right next to the East Jetty you wouldn't have the the big breaking waves . Florida inlets are the absolute worst. I think it's called Haulover Inlet, it's on You Tube. Jones Inlet is mild compared to what they have.

I have watched a few of those videos. They have some nasty standing waves due to the swift outgoing current. They do not have the bar across the channel and I have never seen breaking waves like we get at Jones. Most of the videos of people getting into trouble are simply due to very poor (stupid) boat handling. Speed way to fast for the conditions and or open boats with passengers piled in the bow. Center consoles with no way of keeping water from coming over the bow and filling the cockpit.

I have never been through Haulover Inlet so I can't make a proper comparison but the boaters who slow down and trim their boats properly never seem to have a problem with the following seas.
 

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