Barrier Island Army Corp Project. Editorial by Matthew Brennan, President of the Point Lookout Civic Association

Ready or not the Army Corps project will be moving to Long Beach on April 1st. While this may be a surprise to residents, this news seems to have also been a surprise to the City Manager and the City Council, despite the fact the contract they signed dictated work can occur on any beach in the project zone during any season. Well, that‘s not 100 percent accurate…the City did specify that the beaches between Long Beach Road and Magnolia were off limits between Memorial Day and Labor Day to maximize the profits from the “tourist” beaches. As a result, my community of Point Lookout along with the other partners involved in the project are unsure why there is so much indecision and obstruction coming out of City Hall. The City has objected to multiple construction plans, including ones they themselves earlier submitted, holding fast to their position that the only solution acceptable to the city is to not allow work on its beaches during the summer months. Their effort to delay the project may result in significant potential damages owed to the contractor in the millions of dollars that the City will be responsible for. More importantly, this obstruction leaves our ocean side barrier island coastline vulnerable for significantly longer than necessary, potentially setting the project back months. This will leave not only Long Beach and the barrier island residents vulnerable to storms, but also the waterfront communities of Freeport, Oceanside and areas of the five towns as they were all impacted by ocean side storm surge during Sandy in addition to localized bay flooding.

As the president of the Point Lookout Civic Association, I have had the privilege of collaborating with the Army Corps and the contractor since the outset of work in the Point Lookout area this past summer. The contractor worked with us to have our beaches open on weekends and cleaned the entire beach for the Labor Day Weekend. The Army Corps has made every effort to work with the City to finalize a plan. And despite what has been conveyed to the press, the reason the project is moving to Long Beach is not because it is ahead of schedule as the City contends, but the terms of the construction permit issued clearly stipulated that work could not occur from April 1 through September 1 within the designated Piping Plover nesting area, which is essentially the entire Point Lookout area beach. The work will resume in the fall of 2017 in Point Lookout to finalize projects that the contractor could not complete prior to April 1.

So why does the City want its residents to remain vulnerable? You will need to ask them. The only reason I have heard was that this work would “cripple the local economy.” This is a fallacy not based on any quantifiable measures. The City of Long Beach had enough foresight when the contract was written that work could not occur on their tourist beaches yet somehow following the City’s request is still going to cripple the City? Additionally, the contractor will only engage in work on two groins at a time and only on weekdays. I cannot imagine that residents or tourists will not simply walk an extra block along the boardwalk to an unaffected beach, instead of refusing to purchase seasonal and daily passes as the City may fear. I can assure you, when Civic Beach in Point Lookout was 70% closed during weekdays in August, residents didn’t stay home, they simply walked a little further to beaches not impacted by the construction.

I urge all residents to ask the City why a plan has not yet been finalized with the Army Corps to allow for an orderly transition from Reach 1 (Point Lookout Area) to Reach 2 of the project (the Long Beach area). This project is imperative to the resiliency of the barrier island. Any further delay by the City may have dramatic implications and force residents of the barrier island to wait even longer for the protection we all know we so desperately need.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Matthew Brennan
Point Lookout Civic Association

Newsday on Army Corp project, plus ‘Where will the Sand Come From?’

Newsday has some more info on the Army Corps dune project to begin in Long Beach in 2017

“The Point Lookout-to-Lido Beach phase is expected to be completed in 2017 and $85 million of improvements are expected to start in Long Beach in 2018.

………Beach sand is being replaced from a beach fill area on the ocean floor, about 1 mile offshore from Long Beach. Crews will take fine sand similar to the current beach makeup to add 36 million cubic yards of sand to the beach.” [LINK]

One issue which has been brought up on this blog before in an article that I cannot find: Will we be getting the same wonderful sand when they replenish the beach? The Newsday article says yes. In the blog article which I cannot find, I mentioned a similar Army Corp project that happened in (New Jersey or Maryland or one of those Carolinas) years ago where they dredged terrible, rocky sand and ruined the beach. I know nothing about the Long Beach Borrow Area that’s marked on the image below, but it does appear this concern will be addressed, so cross your fingers.

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 11.11.18 AM

READ: Army Corp of Engineers 6/29/16 Meeting Presentation 

I am a certified open-water scuba diver, so a great blog post would involve me diving down to that area and take actual video. Perhaps even bring a shoe to perform the Long Beach Sand in my Shoes-test, to physically feel if quality is the same. Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 10.54.44 AM


Volunteers Needed for Oyster Reef Restoration [June 4th]

Volunteer Announcement

From the organizers:

The TOH oyster restoration program has been going on for 6 years now and each year we add additional oyster reef structures to our permitted areas in the bay.  We could really use some help getting some new reef material together to “set” our oysters upon.

We are hoping to get around 10 people together on Saturday, June 4th at 9am-12pm at our facility located at West Marina (where the big piles of shell are)  in Point Lookout.

We could use some help getting bags of shell together which will be used to construct oyster reefs later in the year.

The work would be pretty straight forward. We need help scooping clam shells from a pile, funneling them into mesh bags,  and stacking them neatly nearby.  Each bag could weigh between 10-20 lbs when full of shell.  This bagged shell material will used to construct the reefs later this summer.

Save the Point Lookout Flag Tower [GOFUNDME]


The Point Lookout Community Church is on the grounds of the original U.S Life Saving/Coast Guard Station. The flag tower which is pictured, is the original flag tower and is over 100 years old. It is in desperate need of repair and since it is of historic importance to the community of Point Lookout, we are asking for donations from our businesses, residents and friends. We need to raise $8,500 for the repairs and our goal is to reach that by April 1st so that work can be started and completed by June 14th which is Flag Day! If we do not reach the  desired amount the flag tower will have to be taken down. Knowing how generous our wonderful town can be when help is needed, I am sure we can achieve our goal by the target date.
Please be as generous as your means allow.”

[VIA  Makingmypoint: Help Save the Point Lookout Flag Tower]

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of


Point Lookout about to lose major character [Out with Ye Olde, in with crappy new]

I’m really sorry to all you folks in Point Lookout. Your quaint little seaside town is going to lose a ton of character when Ye Olde Firehouse is gone [Read: Ye Olde Firehouse to be demolished].

Couldn’t there be anything done to save it? Or is this the only thing we are good at: Destroying quaint and historic structures only to replace them with cookie-cutter, ugly, beige, fake-stucco boxes with no character that are not built to last.

In my opinion, the whole “needs to be demolished for safety reasons” is probably complete  bullshit. Especially based on wording in this Newsday article how the Point Lookout Property Owners Association were allegedly left in the dark when it came to deciding this structures fate.

I always thought how Ye Olde Firehouse would make an awesome cafe/music venue. The reality is, that building should have been giving historic status and sold off for commercial use. Well.. anyway.. out with ye olde , in with the crappy new. Point Lookout will never be the same without it. For those looking to read more about this structure, please read this article written by the Point Lookout Historical Society: Ye Olde Firehouse

More Point Lookout CG photos & Long Beach Island Landmark Association Meeting today @ 2pm

An update from the Point Lookout Coast Guard photos that I recently posted.These were sent in by a reader named Doug.

Here are two additional photos showing the U.S. Lifesaving Station workers and another shot of the Coast Guard Station in Point Lookout. The Life Saving Service predated the Coast Guard and was in existence from 1848 to 1915. The Coast Guard came into existence when the Revenue Service and USLS joined to form the Coast Guard in 1915.

unnamed-1 unnamed
The Long Beach Island Landmarks Association is hosting a presentation by Jason Crowley this Saturday at 2 PM in the Long Beach Public Library about Landmarking as another Long Beach house was recently placed on the National Register.  Jason is the Preservation Director of SPLIA the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. [LINK]

The Point Lookout USCG Station, c. 1909, WWII & Modern Day [Updated with Life Saving Service photos]

Last week I posted a photo of the Long Beach US Coast Guard Station. Now it’s Point Lookouts turn. Sent in by a reader named Kayo:

unnamed(The original Pt. Lookout USCG Station, c. 1909)

unnamed-1(This is the same building c. WWII.  Note the considerable renovations)

unnamed-2This is the present day Pt. Lookout Community Church (Photo credit: Kayo). Interestingly, this building was in place when street grid was laid down.  It encroaches on the sidewalk and is out of alignment with every other building in PL.  They were there first.  The coast Guard rescue boats were kept in a bayfront facility that now houses the PLFD rescue unit.  – Kayo

UPDATE: Here are more photos sent in by a reader named Doug:

Here are two additional photos showing the U.S. Lifesaving Station workers and another shot of the Coast Guard Station in Point Lookout. The Life Saving Service predated the Coast Guard and was in existence from 1848 to 1915. The Coast Guard came into existence when the Revenue Service and USLS joined to form the Coast Guard in 1915.

unnamed-1 unnamed

Report: There is apparently some major water issue that is being overlooked (H2O’h No!!)

(This photo does not depict the Lloyd Aquifer, but it gives you an idea where our fresh water comes from)

Point Lookout blog Making My Point updates us on a major water issue that is apparently being overlooked by most (read – Long Beach Drinking Water Meeting). I was contacted by the blog’s author, who tells me this: “No one besides me reporting from the presentation wednesday that LB water may be DONE? SOON! there were like 60-70 people there.” This is referring to a meeting on drinking water, which occurred early this October in Long Beach.

I checked out the Making My Point blog to get more info and was greeted with the following quote from Harvey Weisenberg, Long Beach, NY  State Assemblyman:

“This is the most serious problem in the city’s history”

OUCH! That’s not good. Making My Point explains:

Long Beach and Atlantic Beach test wells show potential saltwater incursion may be underway into Lloyd Aquifer -our “sole water resource” (that means THE ONLY PLACE WE CAN GET OUR DRINKING WATER)- , right below us at about 1500 feet down.

That would be a “game over” for drinking water here on the barrier beach.  There are no water pipelines from anywhere to here, no way to start cisterns and other catchment because a few feet down in our ground is salt water, so there’s nowhere to store catchment. 

Head over to Making My Point and read the full article:  October, 11th, 2012: Long Beach Drinking Water Meeting.