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6. Storm Damage & Erosion

Question 6: Both waterfront property owners on the LI Sound and waterfront owners and dock owners on the creeks and bays are faced with challenges such as ice damage to docks, gradual erosion from storm surges and Nor’easters, and hurricane damage and erosion. What background or experience gives you a full appreciation of these problems that waterfront property owners confront on a continuing basis?


Albie Dekerillis

Albie DeKerillis: As always, waterfront property owners will always be at risk for acts of God. I will support repair-recommendations that the Southold Town Trustees agree and pass on to the board. I would condone repairs to said property in a timely fashion, and work to insure that no unnecessary delays exist in the approval process.

Albert Krupski Jr.

Albert Krupski Jr.: In 1985 I was elected to the office of Town Trustee. I served the town in that capacity for 20 years. As development pressure grew, so did the workload and as a result, the experience gained. In
1991 the Town Board adopted the Coastal Erosion Hazard Area Law from New York State. To the wetland code was added bays and Sound. This act more than doubled the jurisdiction of the trustees. The guidance
provided by the state to the town was minimal at best. Next, the Town Board increased the jurisdiction of the Trustees from 75’ to 100’ upland of the wetlands, another huge increase to our jurisdiction.

I saw thousands of applications over those 20 years. We gained experience not only in Southold Town, but by meeting annually with the Southampton and sometimes East Hampton trustees.

The Nature Conservancy brought together the East End Towns (Southold, Riverhead, Southampton, East Hampton, North Haven, and Shelter Island), and we met over a period of four years, all in an attempt to better manage our common, coastal resource.

In 2004, I worked every week with the trustees, town attorneys, and many community members, marina owners, marine contractors, law enforcement, and environmental consultant, resulting in a complete rewrite of the wetland code based on science, experience, and community input. It has since had some minor revisions to make it more effective.

I have a full appreciation of our great natural resource, the wetlands, creeks, and bays, because of my experience as a trustee for 20 years, and as a resident my whole life, fishing, shell fishing, crabbing, and swimming. My goal is to ensure that the next generation, mine and yours, will have the same opportunity.

Christopher Talbot

Christopher Talbot: My experiences on the waterfront are also some of my earliest memories, as I grew up on Deep Hole Creek. I have always paid attention to developing storms and have faced their aftermath. I have also had interesting experiences as a Fire Department member in responding to calls during storms. Finally and perhaps most importantly from experience, my job with the Village of Southampton entails issuing Coastal Erosion Permits for properties on the ocean front and inlets of Southampton.

Jeri Woodhouse: I have always lived on or near the water. As a child growing up on Long Island my family and I swam, fished, clammed and boated in local waters. My understanding of the problems faced by waterfront property owners and users comes from direct experience as a property owner and businessperson. My husband and I owned and operated a charter boat company and an Ericson yacht dealership and are very familiar with the impact of the elements (wind, water, ice, etc) on docks and shorelines.


Louisa P. Evans

Louisa P. Evans: Growing up on Long Island and now living on Fishers Island, I have lived by the water all my life. I am actively involved in the Fishers Island Harbor Committee which is concerned with Fishers Island waterfront and developed the Fishers Island Harbor Plan. Living on Fishers Island, I spend a great deal of my time on boats all year round.

Dan Ross: Experiences gained while I was clamming – through the ice at times – and lifeguarding on the ocean have given me an appreciation of the power of the water.


David Bergen

David Bergen: As a waterfront property owner, I can recall the experience which my father went through after the 1991 “perfect storm.” Like our neighbors all around us, we lost our entire bulkhead and stairs from the top of the bluff to the beach. Emergency measures were put into place which allowed for him to obtain the necessary permits in a matter of days. The Trustees have visited properties over the last
four years which experienced major damage from severe storms. I have gone out into the field on weekends and weekdays granting emergency permission to shore up bulkhead breaks or collapsing bluffs
immediately. I have surveyed our shoreline by both boat and land, identifying areas and relaying this information back to the Trustee office and my fellow trustees to assist in the assessment of damages.
Every Trustee has witnessed the wrath of Mother Nature and understand the grief, hardship and pain which a property owner is experiencing during those trying times. These experiences have provided me with
the empathy and understanding to support quick and valuable assistance during these unfortunate occurrences.

John Bredemeyer

John Bredemeyer: In my capacity as a researcher with the Suffolk County Health Department Bureau of Marine Resources, I have, for the last quarter century, performed all-weather sampling of the waters of the Peconic Bays and L.I. Sound-even in the dead of winter by sampling through the ice. I have observed the shoreline of nearly every creek, stream and lake in Suffolk County, probably hundreds. I grew up on the water in Southold and Orient, commercial scalloping, eeling and fishing in Plum Gut and was a Trustee from 1984-1994. Consequently, I have developed a healthy respect for Long Island waters and what they can do. My parents live on the waterfront in Orient where I grew up. They have had ties to the water here for over 70 years. As a former President of the Trustees, I responded to the massive coastal storm, “The Perfect
Storm,” in 1991 by creating an emergency permitting process for waterfront property owners less than ten days after that storm event, it was run largely by current Trustee, Jill Doherty, then Clerk to the Board. I believe there are few persons more familiar with the waters in this region than I.

Jill Doherty: In growing up on the waterfront in Gardiners Bay, I have seen many storms and the changes they have made to the land. I have seen what protective structures work and which ones have failed. I have
also seen which structures work under one set of circumstances, but not others. Not matter what the situation, losing property is not an easy experience, either emotionally or financially. While working as
the Clerk to the Board of Trustees, I have seen first hand the damage that is done by Mother Nature, not only in the bays, but on the Sound and in our creeks. Being a boater all my life has afforded me the
unique view of the land by water. Part of my job as trustee is assessing the damage in an emergency situation as quickly as possible. This consists of inspecting the property and helping the property
owner obtain the necessary approvals to fix and protect their property in the most efficient manner. Mother Nature can cause pain and grief in an instant. It is a heart breaking thing to see what you have
worked so hard to protect disappear so fast. Being a Trustee is not a 9-5, Monday through Friday job. Mother Nature often chooses my schedule!

Candidates for Trustee: Ed Harbes, Audrey Horton and Karl Spielmann did not respond to our questions. Candidates who did not respond before press time are welcome to add their answers below using the comment box. SoutholdVOICE members are also welcome to post their comments below. Please stay on topic and start new topics in the forum! Thanks.

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