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Erosion of sand spit could threaten homes

FAIRFIELD (AP) — A sand spit that protects part of the coastline straddling Fairfield and Bridgeport is eroding and could leave the area vulnerable to flooding and other damage if measures aren’t taken to replenish it, a local environmental group says.

A report by a New York-based consultant has estimated that continued erosion and storms could make the spit disappear in 15 years, according to a report in the Connecticut Post.

The spit acts like a sponge, and breaks the waves coming off Long Island Sound. Without it, the inland residential areas bordering Ash Creek as well as the tidal ecosystem within the creek could be threatened. Roughly 200 homes could be affected.

“Like global warming, it’s not too late to act, but we’re on the precipice,” Gail Robinson, president of the Ash Creek Conservation Association, told the Post.

The spit has served as a barrier for the creek since the 1600s but has been reduced in recent years by storms Irene and Sandy as well as dredging the city of Fairfield has performed for an adjacent marina.

The association has been pushing for dredged sand currently being brought to Jennings Beach to be placed back on the sand spit.

William Hurley, Fairfield’s engineering manager, told the newspaper the city has been talking with Robinson's organization and takes the matter seriously. He said previous dredgings have occurred under guidelines approved by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The report by Beacon, N.Y.-based environmental consultant One Nature found the sand spit has lost 60 linear feet between 2006 and 2016.

 

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