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Peconic Land Trust to contribute Reel Point consulting funds

JIM COLLIGAN PHOTO After the March 2 nor’easter, this view of Reel Point shows waves that have carved out extenisve sections, something Waterways Management Advisory Council Chairman John Needham called ‘alarming.’

JIM COLLIGAN PHOTO After the March 2 nor’easter, this view of Reel Point shows waves that have carved out extenisve sections, something Waterways Management Advisory Council Chairman John Needham called ‘alarming.’

Three town officials met at Reel Point recently with Melanie Cirillo, the Peconic Land Trust’s (PLT) director of conservation planning, to secure a commitment on the next step to save the spit of land — owned by PLT — that extends into Coecles Harbor from the southern tip of Big Ram Island.

PLT will partner with Shelter Island in sharing a $13,990 cost of a project design and development plan to be done by First Coastal Corporation, a consultancy that worked with LKB Consulting Engineers, in drafting an original proposal. That plan cost the town and PLT more than $40,000, but fully implementing it is beyond the financial means of either to fully implement.

What both entities have been looking at is implementing pieces of that original action plan. But they want to ensure they’re selecting the right pieces to bring about viable protection of Reel Point from being washed away.

Councilman Jim Colligan said the meeting with Ms. Cirillo was “fruitful.” Also attending was Public Works Commissioner Jay Card Jr. and Town Engineer John Cronin.

A PLT written statement described the gathering at Reel Point as “an informational meeting and not a formal meeting with regard to Reel Point.”

The plan from First Coastal is expected this summer, according to Matt Swain, the PLT’s senior stewardship manager dealing with the Reel Point project.

“The PTL will not commit any further funds until decision makers there know the exact cost of the project,” Mr. Colligan said.

The town realizes, the councilman said, that total erosion of Reel Point would endanger town-owned property, private houses and businesses surrounding Coecles Harbor worth tens of millions of dollars.

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