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Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

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Coastal Change Processes

Fire Island, New York Study Site


This effort focuses on coastal processes along the Fire Island segment of coastline along southern Long Island, NY and is associated with other previous and ongoing efforts to monitor coastal change along segments of the Fire Island National Seashore (FIIS) in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

Fire Island, a 50-km long barrier-island system between Fire Island Inlet and Moriches Inlet, attracts significant tourism, includes federal, state, and county parks, contains a number of coastal communities, provides storm damage protection to the adjacent heavily populated mainland, and supports a distinct barrier island ecosystem, all of which are affected by coastal change.  Mitigating the impacts of coastal erosion has been an important management objective for decades.

A primary scientific issue is the lack of understanding of basic coastal processes in the region, especially related to establishment of an accurate coastal sediment budget, a critical element used in modeling coastal evolution, and in the design and implementation of a feasible coastal-erosion mitigation strategy.

The objectives are to:

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