Dunes could save shoreline from storms - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Dunes could save shoreline from storms; residents don't want view blocked


A plan to put in man-made dunes along Connecticut's shoreline towns is gaining momentum, but those with beachfront views said they don't want that view to be blocked.

Superstorm Sandy damaged many homes and businesses along the Connecticut shoreline. The storm also flooded all of Bayview Beach in Milford.

Due to the storm, many shorefront homes were raised 10-14 feet to meet Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines.  However, the purposed creation of giant dunes for protection has many shoreline residents saying it's not worth. 

Jim Dorney was thrilled with his revitalized cottage. Now it is 11 feet farther back from the water and 14 feet higher because of Superstorm Sandy.

Dorney said he's not too keen on a plan being floated by municipal leaders from West Haven to Fairfield, which calls for the creation of a possible wall of sand that would obscure their waterfront view. 

There are man-made sand dunes at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison. The dunes were built to protect properties from flooding.

"There's no sand here at all," Dorney said. "I could see Jersey, where they have miles and miles of beaches ... it might make sense doing it."

New Jersey is moving forward with plans to seize land to build a protective barrier 127 miles along the state's oceanfront.

"It is clear that there are places that dunes protect coastal areas from flooding. It is also clear that there are places that sand will get washed away quickly. Figuring out where dune restoration would be helpful is the hard task," said UConn Marine Science Professor James O'Donnell.

Jody Lopez survived Sandy and said he even watched its floodwaters swirl around her century-old house. A sand dune would obstruct the view.

"If you're going to take a chance to live in these ocean front homes, you're going to have to take that risk," Lopez said.

So far only Bridgeport is look for federal funds to build an 11-foot-high berm that would be  three-fourths of a mile to a mile long at Seaside Park.

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