Officials, Residents Contemplate Dredging Project at Little Northwest Creek to Stop Erosion in Sag H

Sep 17, 2019 4:09 PM

By Peter B. Boody

About 30 residents of Ninevah Beach and the neighboring Azurest and Sag Harbor Hills communities met outdoors with local officials one evening earlier this month to show how their bay beach has been eroded by the wandering outlet of Little Northwest Creek.The problem isn’t just the loss of the beach to a creek that now bisects it: Bacteria have been detected in the creek by the State DEC, forcing it to ban shellfishing in the creek in an area 250 yards around its mouth after heavy rains.“That’s more of a concern,” said John Parker, a member of the Sag Harbor Village Harbor Committee, at a recent meeting of the panel, although he added that the problems residents face protecting the beach “are not insubstantial.” “When I was kid, like, 50 or 60 years ago, the creek ran straight out from the marsh right into the bay,” said Mike Payne, who has a house in Ninevah overlooking the creek’s wetlands, in a phone interview on Tuesday. “Over the years, a peninsula, or sandbar, has formed down the beach to the west, causing the creek to run 100 yards to the west. Now, the creek runs parallel to the beach and is eroding it. Waves come over this sandbar and pound across the creek and into what used to be the beach area.”Just last year, people began noticing how the beach “was actually shrinking,” Mr. Payne said. A footpath from Harding Terrace that used to lead onto a wide bay beach now leads to a 4-foot dropoff into the creek, he said. “At high tide, ....

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