Construction begins on Suffolk Flood Risk Management Project

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A $1.7 billion federally funded initiative to protect Suffolk County’s South Shore kicked off on Friday.

Construction of a major flood risk management project hopes to protect 83 miles of shoreline from Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point.

Fire Island Association president Suzy Foldhirsch has been fighting for the project for years.

“It wasn’t until Sandy hit and there was so much devastation that election officials went to Washington and said, ‘We have to do something to protect the barrier islands that are the chain of islands- barriers that protect the mainland of Long Island,'” says Foldhirsch.

The project is designed to reduce the risk of coastal flooding from severe storms in the most vulnerable areas.

The Army Corps of Engineers says it builds dunes and dredges many creeks.

There is also a pump system that pulls sand from the bottom of the ocean and these pipes lead to the beach. The sand is pumped onto the beach in a suitable profile, which protects against wave action or other incidents.

Officials say Gilgo Beach and Robert Moses State Park will be the first to get the sand.

Another part of the project includes the construction of houses in areas prone to flooding.

The Army Corps of Engineers is studying which houses will be incorporated into the process.

He says he will then approach the owners, but it will take time.

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