Coastal Erosion Forums Held on Long Island

Partners and speakers at the Suffolk County Long Island Sound Coastal Erosion Forum held May 10, 2023, at the Port Jefferson Village Center.
Left to right: Tom Mohrman (Maidstone Landing Association), Corey Humphrey (Suffolk County Soil & Water Conservation District), Kathleen Fallon (NYSG), Suffolk County Legislator Stephanie Bontempi, Elizabeth Hornstein (NYSG), Village of Port Jefferson Trustee Rebecca Kassay, Mark Lowery (NYSDEC), Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn, Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski, Barbara Kendall (NYSDOS), Ryan Porciello (NYSDEC), Alexa Fournier (NYSDEC), Sarah Schaefer-Brown (NYSG)

Two forums — one held at Locust Valley Library in Nassau County on May 4 and another at the Port Jefferson Village Center in Suffolk County on May 10 — brought together 90 attendees, including state and local decision makers, municipal state, and other stakeholders, working to address coastal erosion along the Long Island Sound shoreline. 

Participants shared information on best practices, discussed challenges, and identified opportunities to increase resilience, all in an effort to enhance coordination across communities.

Panelists highlighted strategies and options to address coastal erosion, discussed the Coastal Erosion Hazard Areas Program, local codes, updated New York State sea level rise projections and more. 

During small group discussions, attendees delved into:

• how to better educate private property owners who live on the shore or who are buying property on the shore

• how county, state and federal agencies can better support municipalities and communities who are dealing with shoreline erosion

• how to balance protecting coastal habitats with protection of coastal communities and infrastructure. 

Over the next few months, organizers will review the feedback from the small group discussions and follow up with partners on next steps.

Hosted by New York Sea Grant and Long Island Sound Study through the Sustainable and Resilient Communities initiative, these forums were made possible thanks to partnerships with Nassau and Suffolk Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Suffolk County Legislators Sarah Anker, Stephanie Bontempi, Kara Hahn, and Al Krupski. They were led by two Long Island Sound Study extension professionals for sustainable and resilient communities: Elizabeth Hornstein and Sarah Schaefer-Brown, both of New York Sea Grant.

For more information about the forums, including requesting the presentations, contact Hornstein, the Suffolk County extension professional at [email protected] or Schaefer-Brown, the Nassau County extension professional, at [email protected].

Sarah Schaefer-Brown welcoming attendees to the Nassau County Long Island Sound Coastal Erosion Forum held May 4, 2023, at the Locust Valley Library.

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