The sand will help buffer the Robert Moses State Park traffic circle surrounding the water tower at the entrance to the beach.
The sand will help buffer the Robert Moses State Park traffic circle surrounding the water tower at the entrance to the beach.

More than a half million cubic yards of sand dredged from boating channels will replenish Robert Moses State Park beaches in a $23-million federally funded storm mitigation project over the next month.

An estimated 400,000 cubic yards of sand dredged from the State Boat Channel around-the-clock starting this weekend through April 1 will be used to renourish Field 3, 4 and 5 beaches at the park on Fire Island’s western tip, New York State officials said. Another 200,000 cubic yards of sand dredged from the Fire Island Inlet may also be trucked in.

“Not only will this project better protect the repairs we’ve made so far, the state’s strategy of building back with natural sand and dunes will enhance native plant and animal habitat and protect the area’s coastal beauty,” Rose Harvey, commissioner of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said in a statement.

The announcement comes as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finishes pumping sand dredged from the inlet onto the Gilgo Beach area to buffer Ocean Parkway on Jones Beach Island west of FI after Sandy badly damaged the roadway.

It also comes as the Army Corps has been finalizing plans to rebuild dunes flattened by the 2012 superstorm at Robert Moses and at Smith Point County Park on FI’s eastern end, although dune rebuilding work in the barrier island’s residential middle section may take longer, officials have said.

The sand destined for Robert Moses beaches will also be used to beef up emergency repairs made to the oceanfront at the park’s traffic circle surrounding the water tower, which incurred significant erosion during Sandy.

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Extra sand will also be used to create a stockpile at the beach for future use. Clearing sand from the inlet and boat channel will also improve navigation for recreational boating and fishing, officials said.

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