Farmingville, NY - Councilwoman Jane Bonner has announced that the dredging of Mount Sinai Harbor has been completed. It is the final phase of the Mount Sinai Harbor jetty reconstruction and dredging project which was started in May 2020. The Councilwoman worked for many years to secure the funding and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) permits that were required before the project could start. She also worked closely with the Army Corps of Engineers to bring the project to fruition. Funding came from a $3 million New York State grant secured by former NYS Senator Ken LaValle, and $5 million from the Town of Brookhaven. Dredging of the inlet was recently completed by Suffolk County at a cost of $2 million and the dredge spoils were given to Port Jefferson Village for beach sand replenishment.
Pictured left to right at top is the Mount Sinai Harbor Channel Shoal pre-dredging and as removed, post-dredging. Pictured left to right at bottom is the Port Jefferson East Beach Nourishment Area pre-dredging and post dredging after placement of 90,000 cubic yards of sand that was dredged from the Mount Sinai Harbor inlet.
The reconstructed Mount Sinai Harbor jetties and dredging project are critical to the navigation of thousands of recreational and commercial boats in and out of the harbor. It also opens the channel to allow proper water flow which is vital to the harbor’s environment. The Town has invested in the harbor’s future by regularly seeding it with millions of young oysters that are raised in the Town’s shellfish mariculture facility located at the harbor. Once matured, the oysters will each filter 50 gallons of water per day.
Supervisor Ed Romaine said, “The reconstruction and dredging of Mount Sinai Harbor could only happen with cooperation from all levels of government and I commend Councilwoman Bonner for her persistence and leadership role to get the job done. The harbor is one of the busiest in the Town and we needed to make it safer for boaters and more environmentally sound. This project accomplished all of our goals on schedule and in time for us to welcome the 2021 boating season in the Town.”
Councilwoman Bonner said, “Over time, hurricanes, nor’easters and other storms created a navigational hazard in Mount Sinai Harbor and something had to be done to make it safe. I thank former Senator LaValle and the Town taxpayers for funding this project, Suffolk County for their efforts to complete the inlet dredging, Nelson and Pope for their engineering services and Ed Morris, our Commissioner of Parks, Recreation, Sports and Cultural resources, was the point person for the Town. Now that the job is done, boaters can feel safe as they move in and out of the harbor and there will be a very positive effect on the environment of the harbor and Long Island Sound.”
Over the years, the rocks that comprised the jetties collapsed such that the seaward ends became submerged at high tide and the elevation of the jetty stones above the water surface at high tide was, in many places, less than four feet. In addition, the west jetty became detached from the land at high water and sand was passing through or around the east jetty. This made navigation hazardous through the channel that provides access to the Long Island Sound from the deeper waters of the harbor. Navigational traffic includes many private pleasure craft, commercial fishing and lobster boats, and emergency rescue vessels including, police, fire department, and bay constables. The harbor also functions as a place of refuge for vessels during storms.