Joint Press Release: Asharoken Seawall Needs Replacement to Protect Asharoken Village and Eaton’s Neck Community

Sen. Mario R. Mattera (R,C-Smithtown), Assemblyman Keith P. Brown (R,C-Northport) Asharoken Mayor Dr. Gregory Letica and other elected officials from the area met at the Asharoken Village Hall last Friday alongside appointed officials from the federal, state, county, town and village governments and stakeholder community members from the Asharoken and Eaton’s Neck communities to discuss the current condition of the Asharoken Seawall and strategies to improve it. Representatives included:

Michael Iannelli – U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer

Lauren Lembo – U.S. Rep. Nick LaLota

Col. Alexander Young – New York District Commander and District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Anthony Ciorra, PE – Chief, Coastal Restoration & Special Projects Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District

Hon. Rob Calarco – Gov. Kathy Hochul

Thalia Olaya – Gov. Kathy Hochul

Hon. Mario R. Mattera – NYS Senate

Rob Caroppoli – NYS Sen. Mario R. Mattera

Hon. Keith P. Brown – NYS Assembly

Ken Murphy – New York State Department of Transportation

Chris Engelhardt – New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Cathy Haas – New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Ryan McGarry – New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Hon. Stephanie Bontempi – Suffolk County Legislator

Tyler Cobe – Suffolk County Legislator Stephanie Bontempi

John T. McCarron – Deputy Town Supervisor for the Town of Huntington

Hon. Andre Sorrentino – Huntington Highway

George Schwertl – Huntington Highway

Michael Ruconich – Huntington Highway

Garrett Chelius – Huntington Maritime Division

Hon. Greg Letica – Mayor of Asharoken

Phil Waiter – Eaton’s Neck Fire Department

Bill Raisch – Asharoken Emergency Management

John Ballow – Property Owners of Eaton’s Neck Beach and Greater Eaton’s Neck

Christine Ballow – Property Owners of Eaton’s Neck Beach and Greater Eaton’s Neck

Tom Kehoe, Jr. – Property Owners of Eaton’s Neck Beach

Tor Vincent – Eaton Harbor Corp.

Philip Quarles – Asharoken Resident

“With the current condition of the Asharoken Seawall, it is imperative we act to protect the residents who are affected every time there is a significant weather event,” said Sen. Mario R. Mattera. “That is why I worked quickly with Assemblyman Keith Brown to get all the stakeholders together to have an open and honest discussion.”

“By bringing federal leaders like Congressman LaLota and Senator Schumer together with Legislator Stephanie Bontempi, the Town of Huntington, the Army Corps of Engineers and state agencies like the Department of Environmental Conservation, we can have the needed dialogue that will bring real solutions.

“As we have seen too many times, this is too critical of an issue to kick down the road, and I thank all who attended for their interest and their participation. The time to act is now, and only by working together on every single level will we achieve the goals we all share—protecting the residents of both Eaton’s Neck and the Village of Asharoken.

“This meeting showed that such coordination is truly possible, and that is a great step for all,” concluded Mattera.

“Senator Mattera and I were very pleased with the response from all levels of government to our letter to discuss the condition of the seawall and the need for action to determine a short-term action plan to make immediate repairs and avoid a catastrophic failure of the seawall while a longer-term solution can be put in place,” said Assemblyman Keith P. Brown.

“I was very pleased everyone understood the urgency of the situation, and everyone was willing to work together to build consensus. I look forward to coming up with a solid action plan to move forward to protect the residents of Asharoken and Eaton’s Neck and emergency personnel from any harm during future storms,” Brown concluded.

“I was glad to work with State Senator Mattera and Assemblyman Brown to convene stakeholders from every level of government for a productive discussion about efforts needed to protect Asharoken Avenue, a village road that is the only passageway to mainland Long Island for approximately one-third of village residents and all the residents of Eaton’s Neck. I’m also proud that $2 million in federal funding I appropriated has been secured by the village in recent years to make repairs to the crumbling seawall and plan future protective measures. I will continue collaborating with state, county, town, and village leaders on long-term solutions to this continued flooding,” said Senator Chuck Schumer.

“The Asharoken and Eaton’s Neck communities have waited decades for a permanent solution,” said Congressman Nick LaLota. “Understanding the critical situation at the Asharoken Seawall, just a week after taking office, I visited the seawall with Mayor Letica and Senator Mattera. After 17 months of communication and testimony before the Water Resources Committee, we remain committed to supporting local stakeholders in achieving this long-overdue fix.”

“The Town of Huntington and the Town Highway Department has always offered its support to the Village of Asharoken and will continue to provide assistance in the future where we can. It is our hope that a long-term solution for this critical infrastructure will soon be forthcoming,” said Huntington Town Supervisor Smyth.

“I thank Senator Mattera and Assemblyman Keith Brown for organizing the meeting and all the attendees. With the seawall on the precipice of collapse and the possibility of a breach of Asharoken Avenue, all parties that could assist in finding a solution to the critical seawall replacement and beach restoration needed to come together. The path to a new seawall and a restored beach requires the coordination of all levels of government and many government agencies. This meeting was a terrific first step in that direction. I look forward to using the meeting as a springboard to completing both an interim and long-term fix of the seawall as quickly as possible,” said Mayor Letica.