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Army Corps of Engineers passes on project to save Reel Point

After years of research, work, lobbying and hope spent trying to push a project forward with the Army Corps of Engineers to shore up Reel Point, the town’s efforts have ended in defeat.

Councilman Jim Colligan said the federal projects being funded now are larger and deal with saving wildlife habitats.

The Island’s application, while including the need to preserve the site for birds, plants and other living organisms, took a different approach.

The main  thrust of the town’s application referred to the threat of losing the spit of land jutting into Coecles Harbor. That could result in loss of businesses and residential properties surrounding the harbor.

Reel Point is the last protection from the constant wave action that starts in Point Judith, R.I., and gathers strength as it proceeds toward Coecles Harbor.

Town Engineer Joe Finora told Mr. Colligan New York City projects that are much larger and stressed protection of wildlife met the latest criteria for funding.

Despite disappointment at learning the Army Corps would not be lending expertise to the project, Mr. Colligan said at Tuesday’s Town Board work session that plans are already afoot to rewrite an application stressing wildlife habitats on Reel Point in the hope that a future round could be successful.