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Dredging under way for Asharoken beach

Asharoken beachfront with National Grid plant in background. Photo by Richard Slattery.

By Mary Beth Foley

Efforts to improve the long-standing erosion problem at Asharoken Beach have begun.

Asharoken has claimed for years that the Northport Power plant, originally built by LILCO and now owned by National Grid, has interrupted the natural flow of sand to Asharoken, located west of the plant. Mayor Patricia Irving, elected in June, ran on the promise to seek intergovernmental cooperation in resolving the beach dilemma.

According to a recent statement issued by the mayor’s office, Army Corps agreed to enforce the original operating permit that required, in part, the utility to regularly dredge and deposit at least 15,000 cubic yards of sand per year on Asharoken Beach. National Grid was dredging sand, according to the statement, stockpiling it on the power plant site and that it would be moved to Asharoken Beach shortly.

When National Grid was contacted this week, a spokeswoman said, “the dredging, dewatering and relocating of sand,” will be done by February.

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