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Fire Island News: Dredging Project Aimed at Beach Replenishment

FEMA called on to provide rebuilding maps; Ocean Beach restaurant changes hands.

A $33 million-dollar project to dredge the Fire Island inlet to shore up eroded dunes at Gilgo and Tobay beaches, along the Ocean Parkway, is awaiting approval by the House of Representatives, according to a Newsday report.

According to Sen. Charles Schumer, who announced the project to Newsday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will fast track the dredging project in the goal to have the beaches ready for this upcoming summer season and replenish five miles of dunes. The agreement stipulates the Corps will spend $350,000 for the design and engineering project work.

The project, according to the report, involves moving more than 1 million cubic yards of sand. The Corps is quoted as stating that 1.2 million cubic yards have been lost at Gilgo Beach alone.

FEMA Called on to Get New Maps to Homeowners

In addition Schumer is calling on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to release needed maps so homeowners impacted by Sandy along the south shore and New York boroughs can get repairs underway.

In a press statement issued Tuesday Schumer said the Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps provided needed specifications for rebuilding efforts.

“Many homeowners are in desperate need of updated elevation requirements before they raise homes or rebuild new ones. FEMA has already released the maps for New Jersey, yet New York ABFE’s have not been released,” states the release. “These maps are crucial because they provide important specifications that homeowners must comply with in order to rebuild in ways that will protect against future storms. FEMA should release the ABFE maps immediately so that homeowners can intelligently repair and rebuild.”

Fire Island Village Army Corps Clean-up Starts Next Week

In related super storm post-Sandy news, debris cleanup work by federal agencies is set to begin next week in several west-end Fire Island village communities, including Ocean Beach and Saltaire.

In a document outlining the project, which will run through April 1, Fire Island homeowners are instructed on how to file needed paperwork, such as Right of Entry (ROE), in their respective villages so that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA workers can assess the debris and begin the removal effort. Neither agency can remove debris unless a ROE document has been filed to the village by a homeowner.

The Environmental Protection Agency will also be on hand in the villages for removal of hazardous waste materials.

Ferries to Fire Island will be running this weekend, the weekend of Feb. 16 and March 1 to help homeowners get to their properties for the cleanup effort.

CJ's in Ocean Beach Sold to Palms Hotel Group

In Fire Island business news, a long loved Ocean Beach restaurant has been sold to a new owner.

The Palms Hotel Group, which owns the Palms Hotel Fire Island, has bought CJ’s Bar and a modern renovation which will retain the famous eatery’s “aura,” will remain, according to a press release.

“We want to maintain the aura of the famous eatery, but at the same time we plan on giving the space some subtle upgrades,” said Laura Mercogliano, owner of the Palms Hotel Group in the statement.

There will also be some needed repair due to the wrath of super storm Sandy that hit last October. The storm drove four feet of ocean water into the restaurant, according to the release.

CJ’s opened under its prior original ownership in 1971 and is known for its “Rocket Fuel” and was one of the few Ocean Beach establishments open year round.

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