NYSG Responds to Superstorm Sandy: Breach Assessment
Coastal Processes & Hazards - News
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Hurricane Sandy inflicted tremendous damage along New York’s coastlines including opening several breaches through the barrier islands protecting Long Island’s south shore. Of particular concern was a breach in Fire Island, a barrier fronting a portion of the mainland containing 13,000 homes collectively valued at $10 billion dollars. The National Park Service (NPS), responsible for making the decision regarding closing the breach, asked NYSG’s coastal processes specialist Jay Tanski to assist their Breach Assessment Team composed of 35 federal, state and local officials. NYSG provided the team with research-based information on impacts of new breaches and helped them identify data needed to properly evaluate the situation.

Tanski is a co-author of a 2001 New York Sea Grant report: Impacts of Barrier Island Breaches on Selected Biological Resources of Great South Bay, New York (pdf)—the most authoritative report on the biological impacts of breaches, demonstrating both benefits and losses. He is also the author of Long Island’s Dynamic South Shore: A Primer on the Forces and Trends Shaping Our Coast (click here).

"Old Inlet" breach in Fire Island caused by Sandy. Photo by National Park Service

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