Suffolk County has approved funding for a new boardwalk at Davis Park so beachgoers can reach the ocean without damaging Fire Island’s fragile dune line.
The walkway is planned to be built at the end of Donella Walk, on a piece of property that was formerly in private hands before Superstorm Sandy.
Currently, Donella Walk leads to the vacated parcel and the dune line.
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As part of the Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet (FIMI) stabilization project, Suffolk County acquired the parcel.
FIMI is a joint agency project that, according to the Suffolk County FIMI website, will reestablish protective dunes and beach berms along the Atlantic Coast of Fire Island.
Suffolk County Legislator Robert Calarco, who sponsored the bill to appropriate $150,000 in funding to build the boardwalk, told Greater Long Island that the path will allow access to the beach while preserving the protective dunes.
“In order to ensure that people do not climb over the dunes to get to the beach, which would result in the destabilization of the dune and loss of dune grass, we want to make sure there is a crossover,” Calarco said.
The boardwalk will be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and afterward, the Town of Brookhaven will be given ownership and maintenance of the crossover.
All other boardwalks and crossovers at Davis Park are the responsibility of Brookhaven Town to maintain, according to Calarco.
There is no timeline yet for when construction will begin.
Photo: Davis Park aerial view courtesy of Mike Busch/fireislandandbeyond.com.