Feds Okay Georgica Dredging

Sand from annual dredging at Georgica Pond is sold and used elsewhere to fight erosion. Morgan McGivern

The East Hampton Town Trustees received a 10-year dredging permit for Georgica Pond from the United States Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday. The permit will allow 15,000 cubic yards of sand to be removed from the pond each year. “That will keep it deeper, cooler, and less susceptible to harmful algal blooms,” said Sara Davison, the executive director of the Friends of Georgica Pond Foundation, a group of residents that is working to improve the pond’s health. 

The dredged sand will then be used to replenish beaches. 

The town’s previous 10-year permit expired in 2015, which forced the town trustees to reapply annually for dredging permits, resulting in bureaucratic delays that often prevented proper maintenance of the pond. That “could have spelled disaster for the future of Georgica Pond,” said Senator Charles Schumer in a statement announcing the approval of the permit. 

Senator Schumer worked with the town trustees to get the Army Corps to issue the permit in time for dredging to take place before April 1, which is when the federally protected piping plovers begin to nest on the beach there. 

The pond is typically opened to the ocean in the spring and the fall, but last year, the spring opening did not take place because of weather conditions and an early arrival of the protected shorebirds.